City may condemn Happy's Flea Market - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

City may condemn Happy's Flea Market

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ROANOKE - A popular flea market may have to shutdown if repairs aren't made soon.

Roanoke City put a note on the front door of Happy's Flea Market that says the building is 'unsafe' and faces being condemned.

The flea market has until January 6th, 2014 to show they are making 'significant progress' on fixing electrical and roofing problems. Right now, there are several issues with drainage and leaking. The general manager says they have already started the work and are doing everything they can to make sure Happy's stays open.

"We are determined for Happy's to remain a positive place to do business within the Roanoke Valley," Happy's General Manager Harvey Murdoch says. "We love it here. We're going to do everything we have to."

City leaders tell WSLS that Roanoke Fire-EMS noticed the code violations during a routine inspection in May. They say they made Happy's owners aware of the issues at that time.

To avoid being condemned Happy's owners need to make sure their roof is structurally sound, fix the electrical system, create an emergency exit plan, and pass a safety inspection.

However, if the flea market does close,  hundreds of people will be out of a job. Vendor, Steve Mirzayan, says he's had his business at Happy's for 29 years. He says everyone who works at the flea market is in a panic. 

"You will have a lot of people going out of business and a lot of people unemployed," vendor Steve Mirzayan says. "You have about 300 to 400 people working here Most of these people, this is how they make their living."

Many of the vendors are worried about business being impacted with customers seeing the notice right before they come through the doors. They say this time of the year is where many of the vendors make most of their money.

Since the notice went up, a new Facebook group called 'Save Happy' has started.

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