Wilmington fixture set to shut down permanently after more than 30 years

Land will be cleared to make room for housing

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – A Wilmington fixture around for more than 30 years is set to shut down for good next week.
After more than three decades – Starway Flea Market owner Ellan Hibbard is ready for a change.

“My husband and I bought this place 33 years ago,” she said. “We built the building, and fixed the land so the vendors can come out, it’s been a lot of fun.”

The Starway Flea Market is a place for vendors to sell a variety of items that ranged from used clothes – to peanuts and produce.
The property is not as vibrant as it once was – with only one day left for business – most merchants have packed up.

Vincente Santiago is looking for a new place to sell his goods; he has a family to take care of.

“The 27th of this month is no more, it’s the last time, yeah, a little bit because we don’t know where we’re going,” he said. “We also made friends, a lot of friends when we come here.”

Gail Hill has been a vendor at Starway for the past two years, she’s worried about the new development planned for the land.

“It’s sad to see it go away, and I live very close to the neighborhood, Carolina Beach Road is overrun right now,” she said. “I have no idea what it’s going to look like once they build here on this property.”

Long-time shoppers Leroy and Martha Brown said they’ll miss their weekly visits to the flea market they’ve come to know nearly 30 years.

“Well, I hate to see it go because you could always pick up an extra you could always find something out here that you could use for the good,” he said. “And you could always get rid of any kind of stuff that you have that you want to get rid of, for twenty, thirty years. They’ve been really good to us, make a little extra change.”

Hibbard will miss a lot of things about the place – but what she’ll miss the most are the people she’s met throughout the years.

“They are part of your family, the vendors you got really know them, you love them,” she said. “The bad ones you got rid of.”

Something Hibbard will never get rid of are the memories she’ll cherish for years to come.

Starway Flea Market closes its doors permanently on November 27th.
The land will be used to build affordable housing.

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