Cleveland West Side Market to close some at least three stands at the end of the year

Vendors blame high rent and lack of parking
Posted at 10:16 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 08:46:10-05

Cleveland's West Side Market Tenants Association reports at least three popular stands at the market will close by the end of the year.

Association President Vince Bertonaschi told News 5 growing vendor rent costs imposed by the City of Cleveland and parking problems are partly to blame.

Bertonaschi said sales at the West Side Market are down by some 50% in some cases, and without a rent reduction he expects more stands to close in 2017.

"They are ruining a Cleveland icon, they're ruining it," said Bertonaschi.

"You're going to lose more than four stands.  It's a domino effect. I had that at the Central Market, I know."

Bertonaschi said Rolston Poultry, The Soup Center and Judy's Oasis are some of the stands that will close in the coming weeks.

News 5 took this case to Ward 3 Cleveland Councilman Kerry McCormack who said he would look into a rent reduction for vendors at the market and said he wasn't aware four stands at the market were closing.

"That is a conversation that I absolutely want to have," said McCormack.

"That's a conversation that we have to have with the administration, with the vendors at the table."

McCormack said the city already granted market vendors a reduction on their December rent but said he would pursue a more permanent rent decrease in the form of a new contract.

News 5 reached out to Cleveland Mayor's office about the economic situation at the West Side Market, but we still have not been given a response.