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Bibb proposes alcohol sales, cap on vendor rent hikes at the West Side Market

Cleveland Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack will introduce the West Side Market legislation Monday. [Annie Wu / Ideastream Public Media]
Annie Wu
Ideastream Public Media
Shoppers and vendors inside Cleveland's historic West Side Market

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb wants to cap rent increases at the West Side Market and allow vendors to sell alcohol as part of a plan to refresh the historic market in Ohio City.

In a news release, the mayor’s office outlined a proposal to set 2022 vendor rent at 2020 levels and restrict annual increases to 3%.

Bibb also plans to allow short-term leases for pop-up events and food trucks. The city would allow three-year leases with a three-year option to renew, aimed at giving longer-term vendors more certainty. The plan also calls for eliminating a special premium for prepared food vendors.

“The proposed legislation opens the door to new opportunities for growth, providing security to our existing vendors and flexibility to attract seasonal vendors to the market,” Bibb said in the news release.

Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack, who represents the neighborhood, told Ideastream Public Media that he will cosponsor the legislation when it is introduced at council Monday night.

The market has withstood vacancies and power outages in recent years. A consulting report commissioned last year by then-Mayor Frank Jackson found that market management was understaffed and under-resourced.

During last year’s campaign, Bibb supported hiring an independent manager for the market. The new mayor has also hired a senior strategist to focus on the West Side Market.  

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.