Aqueduct Flea Market vendors ticked off – QNS.com

Aqueduct Flea Market vendors ticked off

While hundreds packed the soon-to-be refurbished Aqueduct and celebrated its new prospects, many flea market vendors were left outside – without an invite and running out of hope.
The Aqueduct Flea Market operates three days per week on the grounds of the racetrack. There is still no definite word on whether or not the Aqueduct Flea Market will continue to operate on the racetrack’s grounds as Genting prepares to begin construction.
“We have to know what we are going to do if we are not allowed back,” said N.F.N. Sewdat, a Sno-Cone vendor. “This is our life. We are dying.”
Genting New York, the developer picked to run the casino, released a statement and said that they expect negotiations with the Plain and Fancy, the organization that runs the flea market, to be ongoing.
“The flea market will remain through the holiday season, when we will evaluate our options,” said a spokesperson for the developer.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said that if Genting decides not keep the Market on its property, she will actively help them find a new site.
“It was very upsetting to see them out front. I feel for them,” said Marshall, who stopped short of naming specific sites that could hold the market. “They deserve to be relocated and we are going to find them a site.”
However, the vendors wanted definite answers – something they have not gotten from Genting, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) or their local politicians.
“They bring a Malaysian company in, but put Americans out of jobs,” said Yvonne Kisson, who sells women’s clothing with her husband, Reggie. “We want to work with Genting. Let us work with them.”
According to vendors at the rally, the flea market holds 1,100 vendors and about 5,000 jobs. Reggie Kisson said that vendors pay over $3,000 per month in rent and that Genting should be willing to work with the vendors if jobs are truly their top priority.
“We want to know where we are going to work,” said Kisson. “We only want to eat. And we want our kids to eat.”
Senator Joseph Addabbo addressed the Aqueduct Flea Market after the groundbreaking ceremony and said that the issue has been brought before Genting.
“It’s up to the property owner,” he said. “We will look for alternatives for the vendors.”
The organization that runs the market, Plain and Fancy, could not be reached for comment.

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