WATERTOWN — A vacant storefront in the Marcy Building has been filled by a flea market business.The Rat Pack Flea Market, 165 Polk St., opened in 3,600 square feet of space at the back of the building once occupied by the Marcy Spa, which relocated to a renovated storefront in the Lincoln Building on Public Square.Amy L. Lortie signed a three-year lease with Neighbors of Watertown Inc., which owns the Marcy Building.She has gathered more than 30 vendors who pay her to lease space, where they sell antiques, furniture, maple syrup, baked goods and other items.The business is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.The owner is receiving rental assistance from the Watertown Local Development Corp., also known as the Watertown Trust, through the city’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative that was awarded by the state in 2017.As such, she will pay half her rent with Neighbors for the first two years of her lease, said Donald W. Rutherford, CEO of the Watertown Trust.Rat Pack is the third flea market business that has opened in downtown in the past three years.“People get to sell their wares and people can go find what they want,” Mr. Rutherford said. “I think people like that.”In 2018, Jake Johnson converted a former warehouse at 454 State St. into a year-round indoor market that houses furniture, clothing and food vendors. Vendors lease space inside the building.About a year later, Julie and Matthew Lichtenauer opened a similar business, called Downtown Julie Brown, at 40 Public Square.Back in the Marcy Building, a gaming store just expanded from about 800 square feet of space to 2,000, said Reginald J. Schweitzer, executive director of Neighbors of Watertown.This summer, the Children’s Home moved out of its offices in the Marcy Building to the Empsall Building on Court Street, leaving 10,000 square feet of space empty.Meanwhile, the Northern Credit Union still leases the second floor in the building, but it remains mostly dark. Alexa Bennett, a spokeswoman for the credit union, said the business has no plans to leave the building.Like many businesses, she said that the credit union’s back office workers are working at home because of the pandemic.
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