Arts Market Closing in St. Petersburg - WFLA News Channel 8

Arts Market Closing in St. Petersburg

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ST PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

Local artists and craftsmen who sell their wares at the Value Fair Market , 3951 34th St. S., St. Petersburg received bad news last week that the business would be closing by the end of the month.

The building used to be an old Kmart store.  It houses everything from from pet photography to giant sculptures. The 20 vendors at the building have two weeks to relocate.

That's not so simple for Robert Bocik, who transforms discarded wood into artistic furniture. He takes sections from old trees already being cut down in the area, and his wife decides what pieces to create. To relocate their business, Funktionhouse, they have to move large heavy pieces of lumbar and saws. "It costs money. Everyday I'm here packing this stuff, it costs money to move it, and I'm not making money while I'm packing," said Bocik.

Manager Julie Johnson said vendors knew the future of the market was tenuous and they all had a 30 days notice clause in their contracts. She admitted the vendors received between 18-25 days notice.

The problem is the complicated leasing arrangement of the building. 

Johnson manages the market for Value Fair out of New Jersey, who leases space from Sears Corporation, who leases the building from an owner in New York.

 "Sears gave 30 days notice to Value Fair Market and by the time we got turned around and were ready to give notification, it wasn't the full 30 days," said Johnson.

The short notice caught Brenda Knoll Budd off guard.  She specializes in pet photography, and has built elaborate backdrops and a studio at the Value Fair Market. " We have to have a slash sale as we are not prepared to...to where?" said Knoll. 

 

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