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More From the Seward Park Co-op on Change in Operators for the Hester Street Fair

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Hester Street Fair file photo.
Hester Street Fair file photo.

Here’s a followup on last week’s news about a new direction for the Hester Street Fair. The Seward Park Co-op, which owns the space where the fair has been staged for the past 11 years, has chosen to go with a new operator. The team running the Lower East Side market launched a petition drive, saying they’d received very little advance notice of the change.

Today the co-op’s board is out with a memo to residents of the big four-building complex on Grand Street. Here it is:

The board and management are very thankful for its long collaboration with The Big Social, LLC, who helped us actualize the co-op’s original concept for an outdoor market and events programming on this unique and historical part of our property.

After 11 years of running the Hester Street Fair and helping us celebrate our community and the evolving Lower East Side—including through the company’s own ownership changes over the years—the company’s license agreement expired last year (and no renewal was pending). Although planning for the 2021 year was put on hold due to pandemic uncertainty, The Big Social was aware that the co-op was vetting several other events managers so as to engage with the best suited to operate our Hester Street lot events while also providing chances for the best financial returns to the co-op and its shareholders.

The board and management did their due diligence on the candidates that had approached us in recent years, all looking to express varying visions for maximizing the use of the space for the co-op and the broader neighborhood. Following meetings, research, presentations and interviews with several prospective going-forward operators (including The Big Social), we have decided to reinvigorate the outdoor market at Hester Street with a different operator, with a successful track-record, substantial operational and marketing experience, running several other similar events elsewhere in New York City.

While we are excited to share the news of a new chapter for Hester Street, until an executed agreement is in place with the new operator—the finalization of which is underway—it is the co-op’s policy not to disclose the identity of our counterparties.

We expect Hester Street will continue to host vibrant happenings of various kinds at throughout the year, beginning as early as April 2021—and very much look forward to seeing you and as many of the vendors as wish to continue to be a part. Please feel free to direct your inquiries to hesterstreet@sewardparkcoop.com or to sphcmgt@greenthal.com.

Curious about the origins of the Hester Street Fair? You can see our original article on the Seward Park Co-op’s search for a vendor to enliven the forgotten spot here, and more of the back story here.

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