The Opa-locka Hialeah Flea Market is closing, but tenants say they need more time to move merchandise out.
The property owners say that anything left after June 20 will be thrown out.
The flea market is an institution in South Florida and many of the tenants have been there for decades. They told NBC 6 that they need months, not weeks to move out.
The commercial flea market song is notorious, but tenants are not singing a happy tune after receiving letters to get out by June 20 ahead of the June 30 closing.
“It’s sad that people been working and having a location here for 40 years, 38 years. Little old ladies that raised their kids here, and then all of a sudden, they don’t have no heart, no sympathy for us. And just want to throw us out of here like dogs,” said shop owner Leo Alba.
There are hundreds of vendors, and some are now the second generation like the Calazadilla family.
“We’ve been here already since 1998 to 2022. We’ve been here so we are asking to give us time to move all of this out of here because where are we going to store this?” asked Marlon Calzadilla, who is a manager at his parent’s auto shop in the flea market.
The family sells car parts and accessories. They have storage trailers filled with tires that all have to be moved.
NBC 6 obtained a letter sent from management on Friday telling tenants that the flea market is closing following the sale of the property.
“…As part of the property owners’ move-out requirements, you will be responsible for the prompt and timely removal of all goods, inventory and other property that you are storing at the flea market. Any items left on the premises after closure will be discarded," the letter read.
“It’s frustrating because we don’t know what to do,” said Calzadilla.
NBC 6 went to talk to the property owners on Tuesday but was told they are out of town and unavailable.
“We really need help,” said Carlos Salas, who runs a car dealership at the market. “You know the only thing we are asking for is time.”
Venders are trying to fight this. Some have hired lawyers and many plan to take the issue to the city of Opa-locka at the city commission meeting Wednesday night.