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What happens to Kobey's Swap Meet amid Midway Rising development?

As San Diego continues negotiations for the redevelopment of the old sports arena, those that could be in jeopardy of closing their business are swap meet vendors.

SAN DIEGO — As San Diego continues negotiations for the redevelopment of the old Pechanga Sports Arena, those that could be in jeopardy of closing their business are the vendors at Kobey's Swap Meet

“I‘ve been coming here for 30 years and Oh you can find all sorts of treasures,” said Kristina Cav, a customer who was shopping for antiques. 

For almost 40 years, families from San Diego have visited Kobey's Swap Meet to find something new, something used and even something borrowed. 

Vendors that have been here for decades and have established loyal customers and have even grown their business. 

“Been with Kobey since 2012, we started small and now we have the largest stand here,” said Mike Morte. 

However, after welcoming thousands of visitors and vendors throughout the years, there is fear of a possible closure, according to the Kobey family who started the swap meet. 

Those fears came at the same time that city council members agreed to enter into exclusive negotiations with Mayor Todd Gloria's selection to redevelop 48 acres of city-owned land that is currently home to the San Diego sports arena.

The sports arena is located on the same property where dozens of swap meet vendors set up to sell their items.

While there's no definite confirmation of whether Kobey's swap meet will close down, frequent visitors and vendors are questioning if this is a possibility.

Which is why CBS 8 went to the main source, Kimberly Kobey, the co-founder, asking if they have been included in the redevelopment discussion.

"We have been approached by many of the redevelopers and our goal is for us to be included in some capacity. And each one of them have been very receptive, but we are part of the community. So we hope that in some fashion he will be here,” said Kobey.  

Kobey also adds that because they are just tenants of that area, if they do need to move out of the property, they hope that the city can relocate them somewhere else.

“Time will tell, we will be here for the next two years, and hopefully we can come up with a  solution,” said Kimberly.

However, dozens of small businesses that depend on Kobey's swap meet every weekend say they cannot afford a relocation or even worse, a closure. 

Many say these two options would only force vendors to permanently close their own business and have no other alternative to pay rent or other bills.

“It would definitely affect me and my business,” said Morte. 

The mayor's office and Midway Rising will begin to iron out the details, a process that could take as long as two years to do. 

WATCH RELATED: City Council to vote on massive Midway District redevelopment (Sep. 2022).

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