Providence Flea’s future location uncertain after I-195 panel’s decision

DESPITE ITS popularity, the Providence Flea has always stood on shaky ground and now the Flea’s future location is unclear after it lost its long-held residency along the eastern shore of the Providence River Dec. 20. / COURTESY KITE ARCHITECTS INC.

PROVIDENCE – Despite its popularity, the Providence Flea has always stood on shaky ground, but now its future location is unclear after losing its long-held residency along the eastern bank of the Providence River on Dec. 20. On weekends during warmer months since 2013, the Providence Flea has occupied a quarter-acre piece of land called

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  1. What a joke!!
    “….Providence Open Marketplace. This proposal garnered widespread support from residents and community members who sought to maintain the preserve the area’s landscape and character.”
    and the commission didn’t care because “it offered housing at a time when the city is facing a housing crisis while also preserving public space.”
    Those condos are going to be sold/rented to WEALTHY people who want a riverview, with AT BEST 10% going to market or below-market renters who are the ones actually in need of AFFORDABLE housing!

    The I-95 Commission really blew it on this one. The Providence Flea was something that generated interest and economic activity from around the area while this newly approved monstrosity will be a restaurant and housing for the mucky-mucks, like those whose friends are on the Commission.

    Sad day for Providence for the lost opportunity.

  2. Find a good spot for the flea market and Providence will get both a desirable new development and a bigger and better flea market. This will give more activity to the park on west side of pedestrian bridge on a regular basis rather than just on special event days. The daily activity in that park presently leaves a lot to be desired, but recent moves – the opening of the pedestrian bridge – have been beneficial. But this situation can only be significantly improved by the addition in that neighborhood of new commercial space and new residential units, preferably involving larger units, condos. This will give more stability to area and provide the daily parade of pedestrians that any park needs to be vital.

  3. Credit should be given to the I-195 Commission for its thoughtful decision on this parcel and for making a decision based on facts and evidence and not emotions. The Riverside proposal ticked off are the right boxes versus the flea market proposal:

    – increased and new pedestrian activity with condos, restaurant, and commercial space. The Flea market offers no such thing, just a cover for what already is interesting pedestrian traffic, but no significant incremental increase. The Riverside project offers increased daily street activity over a broader time range and more days of the week and it is appealing to all age groups.
    – investment is critical to wealth creation in any community. The Riverside project offers much more investment than the flea market and it will provide more tax revenue.
    – the nature and use of the flea market pavilion and long periods of non-use make it a prime target for vandalism. Not true of the Riverside proposal.
    – it helps the city’s housing situation and has benefits to city’s quest to increase its population.

  4. And what happened to ‘Meds & Eds’?
    The flea belonged there …
    A 7 story mixed use with condos… what next?

    The flea brought business to the area…. and supported many…
    Yes we have a housing crisis, so stop building expensive condos and start building solid work force’ affordable’ housing in the city… Please!