New Fourth Avenue Flea market to debut in recently launched community space
By Gerald M. Gay,2023-06-09
A new community space operated by the Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition promises a variety of regular events and activities, starting with a night market, dubbed the Fourth Avenue Flea, on June 23.
The coalition, a group of North Fourth Avenue business owners and community members from the surrounding neighborhoods, leased the old Ordinary Bike Shop building at 311 E. Seventh St., in early May.
The goal for the coalition, which started in 2017 as a way to retain the flavor and localism on and around North Fourth Avenue, was to create a new space where regular community events could be held.
The group had already achieved success with its popular, semi-regular Made in Tucson Market, when they were offered the opportunity to lease 311 E. Seventh.
“We were trying to figure out the best way to utilize funds from the market,” said DeeDee Koenen, a member of the coalition and co-owner of Pop-Cycle on North Fourth Avenue.
Leasing the space seemed like a good investment.
“The way we imagine it is as a space for the community to gather in,” Koenen said. “A lot of us don’t have the room in our own businesses. Pop Cycle is so tiny. We can’t really do anything there.”
At 2,700- square feet, the new space has plenty of room for whatever the coalition might dream up. An adjoining parking lot doubles its size.
The coalition held an open house on May 11 where they asked members of the community what they would like to see held there.
“There was a ton of feedback,” Koenen said. “People wanted to see classes, swaps, yoga, wellness activities.”
When they put out a vendor call for the Fourth Avenue Flea, they sold out of spaces in a day.
“That was a surprise," Koenen said.
The night market, running from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., will have 43 vendors, including vintage sellers, makers and local food producers.
“We are trying to make it a really good mix,” said Shannon Riggs, who co-owns Pop-Cycle. “We are going to try and rotate sellers. If you didn’t get into this one, we’ll try to get you into the next one.”
In addition to the night market, the space already has a series of swaps lined up, several classes, and a twice-a-month craft fair set to start in August.
Admission to the market is free.