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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

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.