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Little progress is being made at East Side Market after opening date pushed back five times

Posted at 12:31 PM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 12:31:39-04

The vacant property on East 105th and Saint Clair Avenue has gone virtually untouched since 2007.

Construction crews have been working on the promised East Side Market, but the problem is, the grand opening date keeps getting pushed back.

We’ve been following up on the progress for nearly two years, and still running into the same response.

The developers have made a few minor changes since the last time we checked in the fall. The storefront is now sporting a brand-new sign, but the grand opening is months overdue, and people in the neighborhood are asking what’s going on with the East Side Market?

“I just heard it was going to be open and it’s not open yet,” said Zennie Moore, who’s lived in the neighborhood for years.”

She and others have seen days and months passing little progress on the outside and on the inside, new flooring, painted walls is as far as they’ve gotten.

“It’s three-quarters ready looking at the schedules,” said Councilman Kevin Conwell, who inherited the ward years ago and has been overseeing the process.

He said the opening date for the fresh food market, offering produce like fruits and veggies, a coffee shop and even a community room, was originally slated to open spring of 2016.

Then he pushed back that date nearly five times.

“I make no excuses, East Side Market should have been open,” Councilman Conwell said.

The councilman says there’s been a series of financial setbacks where they’ve had to spend more than $500,000 extra from what they originally budgeted. And they’re still trying to find more funding to complete the project.

“We should have done a budget analysis to compare and contrast building a new east side market, or rehabbing this east side market,” he said.

That’s why construction has been halted for the past two months, leaving some like Zeenie Moore doubtful anything will ever come to be.

“It should’ve been open and it still ain’t open. So I don’t know what to believe,” she said.

But Councilman Conwell holds to the fact that the market will open, and this time he says it’s set to open by end of summer and he assures us that that will indeed happen.