On Thursday, the District Department of General Services (DGS), managers of Eastern Market and the surrounding retail area, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the outdoor market on the 300 block of Seventh Street SE.
The RFP comes after DGS told a January meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) that Carol Wright of Washington Arts, Antiques, Crafts & Collectible Associates (WAACA) did not renew her contract with DGS. The contract had expired Dec. 1, 2018.
Eastern Market Manager Barry Margeson said that Wright cited street safety concerns as a reason for not signing a contract extension.
Three Flea Markets, Five Sites
The Flea Market at Eastern Market is actually three distinct flea markets: two private and one public, managed on a total of five different sites. Under the auspices of DGS, Eastern Market Manager Margeson manages the vending near Eastern Market, on the 200 Block of Seventh St. SE and on the plaza of the adjoining William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center.
Flea markets are also operated on C Street SE, which is privately owned and maintained by Stanton Development and EastBanc as part of the Hine Development. These are unaffected by the RFP.
When construction on the street was completed in fall 2017, two separate privately-run flea markets signed three-year leases with the developers to operate on C Street SE. On Saturdays, the C Street SE vending operation at Hine is managed by Carol Wright of Washington Arts, Antiques, Crafts & Collectible Associates (WAACA). On Sundays, Michael Berman organizes vendors under the auspices of Diverse Markets Management (DMM).
Diverse Markets Management also operates the Sunday flea market on the 300 block of Seventh Street SE. The Saturday and Sunday flea markets on the 200 block of Seventh Street SE between C Streets and North Carolina Avenue SE are managed by DGS and are also unaffected.
Terms of the RFP
The RFP states that the licensing fee will be a minimum of $3,300 a month to operate a market on the approximately 13,328 square feet of street space on the 300 block on Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Margeson said that the goal was to award the contract between 30-60 days of the close of the RFP. He said the lack of a contract was a loss of revenue for Eastern Market.
The RFP closes at 3 p.m. Feb. 18th, meaning there are eleven days for proposals to be submitted. As of late January, when the space was vacant, Margeson said that no interested parties had approached DGS.
Applicants can attend a pre-proposal site tour and conference on Saturday, Feb. 9. See the full RFP here: https://dgs.dc.gov/event/dgs-rfp-2019-02-request-proposals-outdoor-market-opportunity