CLEVELAND — On Tuesday, the city of Cleveland announced its 2020 goals for the West Side Market.
The release of goals for the coming year arrives after a turbulent 2019 for the city-owned landmark. Vendors are continuing to complain that the building is not being taken care of properly.
Longtime vendor Truczyk’s Meats announced it was closing after 36 years at the West Side Market earlier this month.
“The city of Cleveland has failed to keep the place afloat,” owner Michael Truczyk told 3News. “They couldn't fix any of my electrical problems... they had drain problems, I would have to stand in water while I was cutting with my saw. To work under those kinds of dangerous conditions, I could lose my life.”
Leaders stress that the city takes its responsibilty for the market seriously.
“As we look forward to 2020, the City of Cleveland does not take lightly its important role as the West Side Market’s owner and operator,” said Darnell Brown, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Cleveland. “We are committed to preserving this iconic landmark for future generations and look forward to working with our valued tenants to meet our goals.”
The city of Cleveland listed the following strategic goals for the West Side Market in 2020:
- Assess online and delivery platforms to fulfill customer orders
- Incorporate and respond to the public’s survey responses to expand WSM’s social capacity
- Plan for underutilized second floor spaces for new educational, entrepreneurial and social purposes
- Diversify tenants and products at the WSM
- Expand vision for arcade pavilion to diversify product and develop seating options
- Improve relationships with tenants through the tenants board
- Strengthen safety and security plans
- Improve WSM linkages and accessibility with wayfinding signage
- Integrate cost-effective means for vendors and Market to be more environmentally friendly
- Collaborate on innovative ways to attract new customers and improve customer retention
- Design and complete planned capital improvements
- Create an informative customer concierge area for pick-up orders and deliveries
- Develop comprehensive WSM programming plan
- Create new revenue streams via trademarked merchandise, room rentals, events, etc.
- Build a retail incubator program to attract and support new small businesses similar to Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative GlenVillage site at E. 105 St. in the Glenville Neighborhood
West Side Market manager Felicia Hall sent the following memo to market tenants on Tuesday:
“In executing our goals, we are committed to strengthening our relationships with you, our existing partners, as well as building new relationships. It will take time and collective efforts from the City of Cleveland and our partners to transform WSM,” Hall wrote.
The city also noted that the West Side Market is now over 107 years old. Over the past six years, the city says it has made more than $5.4 million in capital repairs, including the installation of new boilers, improvements to some electrical systems, a new parking lot, roof repairs, new cooling systems and more.
In October, market vendor Kate's Fish told 3News that one of the city's “temporary fixes” went bad when one of the extension cords frayed and touched the steel frame of the display case, which sent an electrical shock into one of the fish stand's employees.
RELATED: West Side Market vendor says City of Cleveland’s ‘temporary’ lighting fix caused dangerous electrical problem
The city later denied responsibility for the incident.
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