MARSHALLS CREEK – Seven months after closing, organizers of the Pocono Bazaar flea market now have a new home two miles north of where it had been located for decades.
The flea market – one of the largest in Northeast Pennsylvania – had been a regional draw since it opened 29 years ago.
Closed Dec. 31 at its longtime home along U.S. Route 209, the flea market reopened July 6 in another part of Marshalls Creek in what was once the Foxmoor Village Shopping Center.
Located off Route 209, the center has turned vacant stores into vendor space and the courtyard bustles with tables full of items for sale each weekend. It now is called Pocono Square Mall.
"The parking lot is filled with cars every Saturday and Sunday," said Wayne Rohner, the zoning officer for Middle Smithfield Township. "The mall has been revived because of it. It was pretty much a dead zone. It now has weekend life."
A subsidiary of the development company that owns the Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg and more than 130 other malls and shopping centers plans to open a 103,000-square-foot shopping center on the 12.6-acre former flea market site. Among the stores slated to occupy the center when it opens next year are a Rite Aid and a Price Chopper grocery store, Rohner said.
The Pocono Square Mall, in addition to the flea market vendors, has a movie theater, salon, PNC Bank, church, the township's library, an army/navy store and a dollar store. Messages left with flea market officials were not returned Wednesday.
For years, getting to this part of the township, especially the old flea market grounds, was difficult as traffic congestion along Route 209 was well known to motorists. A long-stalled bypass remained in the planning stages for a decade before finally opening in June. The new road, Rohner said, has helped tremendously.
"The bypass works," Rohner said. What might have been a 45-minute slow crawl from I-80 now takes less than 15 minutes on most days, he added. To date, the project has cost nearly $40 million.