BLUEFIELD — The former 84 Lumber facility on Rt. 52 north of Bluefield is being converted into a year-round indoor flea market.
Gordon Lusk, owner of Lusk Disposal Service in Princeton, has purchased the property and is working to have the new business open on July 6.
“We are going to have 70 spaces inside the building when it’s completely done,” he said. “We will also have 47 covered spaces in sheds around the building and 46 spaces in the parking lot.”
That parking lot is land next to the business he has also purchased and is now in the process of grading and putting down gravel.
“It will have 165 parking spots,” he said. “I am hoping to expand it (parking lot). I want to go further into the field next to it.”
Lusk said spaces are being rented and “we are probably about 90 percent full inside (of those ready),” he said, adding that more inside spaces will be available in August.
Sloan Smith, who works with Lusk, said food will be available inside and bathrooms are now being readied for visitors.
Lusk said the market will be open Saturdays only from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the inside market will be open year round since the building is heated and cooled.
Those spaces inside the building are partitioned off and can be secured. They are rented by the month, and vendors can leave their wares there all the time, he said.
“We have security cameras and alarms,” he added.
Former offices of the company inside the building can also be long-term rentals.
Will Frazier of Bluefield was on site Tuesday placing his things in one of those offices that he has rented, getting ready for the opening.
“It’s going to be great,” he said. “It’s going to be a big thing in Bluefield. I hope it’s as big as the parking building was.”
Frazier was referring to a parking building in downtown Bluefield that was the site of a popular flea market for many years before the building was demolished.
“I think the demand is here for it,” he said. “There should be an enormous selection of stuff here, a big variety.”
Frazier said he is also happy it will be open year-round and he can safely leave his antiques and other items in his space.
Smith said she does not know of another large indoor flea market in the region. “I think there’s one in Milton (W.Va.),” she said. “I don’t know of any other in the state like this one.”
Lusk said he has always enjoyed going to flea markets and the idea hit him to open one at the end of May.
“I used to always go to the Bluefield flea market,” he said, adding that other large flea markets are all outside. “Even when it rains here you still have covered spots.”
Lusk said he thinks it’s a good location, on a busy Rt. 52 between Bluefield and Brushfork.
“There’s a lot of traffic and I think it will do really well,” he said. “We are going to cut a lot of brush and trees beside the road to make it safer.”
Workers were on site Tuesday inside and outside the building getting ready, as well as in the parking lot.
“We are pretty much done,” he said. “Our goal was to get the first spaces done inside.”
That has been accomplished and now it’s a matter of renting the rest of the spaces and waiting for that first day.
If the interest shown on social media is any indication of what to expect, July 6 will be a busy day.
Lusk said he first posted the business on Facebook two weeks ago.
“I have 17,000 people following it.”
Anyone interested in reserving a space can call 304-921-0492.
— Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com