By Kyle LoJacono
The Zephyrhills City County unanimously voted to keep the Patriot Flea Market open for business at Park Place along Chancey Road.
The council was concerned about people parking along Chancey to the point it was taking away spots from Sam Pasco Park while also disrupting traffic flow. Zephyrhills development director Todd Vande Berg assured the members there had been no complaints filed.
“There had been concerns in the past that people were parking on Chancey, but staff had heard nothing about that,” Vande Berg said. “It can be policed if that becomes a problem.”
Paul Correia, managing partner for the company that owns Park Place, said the developer has limited access to the flea market from the northern entrance off SR 54. The developer also has added turn lanes and speed control measures to the southern entrance to help with any congestion issues.
In addition, the three lots the flea market uses have been moved deeper inside the property, giving people more places to park their vehicles, according to Correia.
The agreement allows the flea market to stay in place, but Correia said it is far from permanent.
“The rent from that market doesn’t cover costs,” Correia said. He then added, “We can’t rely on it to keep us going. It barely covers the cost of property taxes for a year. In a perfect world, I’d love to have a market like that somewhere.”
The property has major infrastructure like sewer, water and electrical service. Correia said other groups have looked into using the property, but the down economy turns many away.
“We’ll probably have to find an end user, someone with a specific building they have to build and can’t (do) it anywhere else,” Correia said. “We may be a couple of years ahead of getting things done when and if this economy returns.”
The market has been operating at the industrial park near US 98 since 2009 from October through March when the seasonal residents are in east Pasco County. Vendor records from last year show people from Zephyrhills, Dade City, Lacoochee, Wesley Chapel, Land O’ Lakes, Lutz and New Tampa set up booths at the park last year.
Along with arts and crafts, the flea market has carnival-style food and live entertainment. For more information, visit www.patriotfleamarket.com.
Patriot Flea Market
Location: Park Place on Chancey Road
Days: Tuesdays and Thursday
Hours: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Phone: (813) 715-4836