Cleveland's Eastside Market set to open in January

$6 million project hopes to eradicate food desert

CLEVELAND - Cleveland’s much-anticipated Eastside Market now has a new opening date of January 2018.

The market, on E. 105th and St. Clair, will serve a neighborhood and community that has been a long-time food desert. The original market, which opened in the 1980s, closed in 2007.

The new market won’t have vendors as it did in the past.

Instead, it will be a full-service grocery store with fresh produce and meats, along with a demonstration kitchen to teach residents how to cook healthy meals. It will also contain a health and wellness clinic.

The revival was originally announced in 2015, and has support from the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and the state. According to Willie Austin, president and CEO of Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, the total cost to reopen the market is $6.1 million. The city, county and state are funding $2.2 million of that cost.

Tuesday, Cuyahoga County Council will approve the final $750,000 needed to finish the project — a combination of a $500,000 grant and a $250,000 loan from the casino-tax revenue fund.

Ground was broken on the new market in May of 2016. The original planned opening in the spring of 2016 was pushed back several times due to construction delays and budget constraints.

“We were not in a hurry because we didn’t want a grand opening and a grand closing,” said project developer Arthur Payne.

Construction crews were busy at work on Tuesday, pouring concrete and installing new wiring and plumbing.

The nearest grocery store is more than two miles away, a struggle resident Vancelia Garrett knows well.

“There’s nothing up in here. We have these Family Dollars and Dollar Trees, but there’s no fruit and vegetables in them,” Garrett said.

She remembers shopping at the former Eastside Market back in the 1990s, and is looking forward to fresh food at her fingertips once again.

“I hope it does well, I really do. It will give the people something.”

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