Developer looking to close popular flea market for apartments; customers react

Hillsborough County

THONOTOSSASA, Fla. (WFLA) – A developer is looking to shut down a popular Tampa Bay area flea market in exchange for an apartment complex.

Big Top Flea Market is an indoor-outdoor market located on Fowler Avenue in Thonotosassa. The 36-acre space that can house up to 1,100 vendors has been open since 1991.

Stopping at Big Top Flea Market is a part of Tony Trestor’s weekly routine.

“I’ve been coming here almost 30 years now,” Trestor said. “Every Sunday we come here, we get our donuts, we get our pickles, and we get our delicious coffee.”

When Trestor saw a re-zoning sign in front the popular bay area staple, hinting the market may be on the move, he took to Facebook.

“Everybody has been coming here for years and years,” he said. “They see that and they’re like what’s going on?”

Trestor shared the news that a developer has plans to get rid of Big Top for bigger plans.

Documents 8 On Your Side obtained shows the developer listed as, Liv Development, wants to turn the 36-acre lot into a 292 unit apartment complex with an office space.

Records show the developer filed the application in October.

8 On Your Side reached out to Liv Development and Big Top for a comment, but have not heard back yet.

The thought of losing the indoor-outdoor flea market is leaving customers devastated.

“It’s really sad to see it go,” Trestor said.

Trestor is also keeping in mind the nearly 1,100 vendors that may soon be without a job.

“It’s a hit in the pocket for them and it’s a hit for the community as well.”

A Hillsborough County spokesperson said no plans are set in stone yet, and the rezoning process is still in its early stages.

There is a public hearing scheduled where people can express their opinions. It will take place on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Hillsborough County Center on the 2nd floor located at 601 East Kennedy Boulevard.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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