Florida Keys Business
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Flea market could share space with Dollar Tree
Vendors can stay on property

KEY LARGO -- Shoppers in Key Largo may soon be getting a third dollar store -- in space currently used by a local flea market.

Plans have been submitted to the Monroe County Planning Department to change the front half of Island Market Place into a Dollar Tree.

Results from a meeting between Michael Cavallaro, who owns the flea market, and Dollar Tree representatives were not available by press time, but Cavallaro told The Citizen last week that the new business should be open by July.

"It's a great combination," said Cavallaro, who added that he does not expect the discount chain store to hurt his flea market vendors.

People can stop in and pick up low-cost cosmetics, then check out "some funky, not junky," flea market items, he said. He said he is open to renting space on a shorter-term basis, but wants to keep the market as upscale as possible.

"My vendors are very anxious and hope it will increase their business," Cavallaro said.

Cavallaro said the back half of the 10,000-square-foot warehouse would house the flea market while the front would become the discount retailer's space.

Though he owns the flea market business, Cavallaro does not own the property, which was recently sold by TJR Investments, a Windemere-based company. Attempts to reach the new owners in Miami were not successful.

Inside the building, Pierre Multari, one of the vendors, explained the changes to other nervous vendors.

Currently the building, an open warehouse, is home to many small flea market-style shops that sell furniture, antiques and paintings. A video game area is set up for kids. Some of the vendors said they are not yet sure whether they will be coming back next year.

Plant, produce and food vendors who set up outside the building will remain in place, Cavallaro said.

A Dollar Tree also opened late last year on the Overseas Highway in Islamorada, and a few years ago in a North Roosevelt Boulevard in Key West.

jgore@keysnews.com

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