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City Promises Improvements To West Side Market As Tenants Depart

[ideastream file photo]
Cleveland's West Side Market

The city of Cleveland responded to continued complaints from West Side Market tenants with promises of improvements in another city-produced question-and-answer video session.

Michael Turczyk of Turczyk's Meats posted Saturday on Facebook that he is closing his businesses “after 36 tears of blood, sweat, and tears, (that are forming now)” due to city mismanagement and an increase in fees and taxes.

Mayor Frank Jackson’s operations chief, Darnell Brown, highlighted some of the city’s investments in improvement at the market in a written statement posted to social media over the weekend and an eight-minute Facebook video Monday, with questions asked off-camera by Cleveland’s Acting Director of Communication LaToya Hunter.

“Over the last five years we spent about $5.3 million in improvements to the West Side Market including the parking facility, a number of electrical improvements and other improvements to infrastructure there,” Brown said.

About $2 million in electrical work is set to be done in early 2020, he said.

“Whether it's the electrical panels, whether it's the vendor areas that include display cases, also the outlets and the power just to the general area, including emergency lighting,” Brown said.

Brown says at the end of each year, the city gets an indication of tenants who will renew or cancel their lease.

“We're doing a lot of work on outreach and we'll also be doing a lot of work on developing relationships with folks who have applied for space at the West Side Market,” he said.

The city added they implemented a base rent increase in 2016, the first in nine years, to be increased incrementally over three years. Out of consideration for parking lot construction, the city has provided some relief from those increases on a case-by-case basis.

Currently, the market has 38 open stalls and a 79 percent occupancy rate, Hunter said. No formal press events on the market are currently scheduled, she said, but one may be set once the plans for further improvements are formalized.

Glenn Forbes is supervising producer of newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.