The Opa-locka Hialeah flea market is closing, but tenants say they need more time to get the goods out.
The owners say anything left after June 20 will be thrown away.
The flea market is a South Florida institution and many tenants have been there for decades. They told NBC 6 they needed months, not weeks, to move.
The flea market commercial song is notorious, but tenants don’t sing a happy tune after receiving letters to move out by June 20 before the June 30 closing.
“It’s sad that people have been working and having a location here for 40 years, 38 years. Little old ladies who raised their children here, and then all of a sudden they have no heart, no sympathy for us. And I just want to kick us out of here like dogs,” said store owner Leo Alba.
There are hundreds of vendors, and some are now second generation like the Calazadilla family.
“We’ve been here already from 1998 to 2022. We’ve been here so we’re 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 manages his parents’ auto shop at the flea market.
The family sells auto parts and accessories. They have storage trailers full of tires that all need to be moved.
NBC 6 obtained a letter from management on Friday advising tenants that the flea market was closing following the sale of the property.
“…As part of the Owners Moving Requirements, you will be responsible for the prompt and timely removal of all property, inventory and other property you store at the flea market. Any items left behind after closing will be discarded,” the letter read.
“It’s frustrating because we don’t know what to do,” Calzadilla said.
NBC 6 went to speak to the owners on Tuesday, but were told they were out of town and unavailable.
“We really need help,” said Carlos Salas, who runs a car dealership in the market. “You know, the only thing we ask for is time.”
Sellers are trying to fight this. Some have hired lawyers and many plan to take the matter to the town of Opa-locka at the town commission’s meeting on Wednesday evening.