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Cleveland City Council approves alcohol sales, cap on vendor rate increases at West Side Market

The new legislation will cap rental rate increases, expand lease options, and permit alcohol sales to support vendors.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland City Council has approved legislation that the Bibb Administration hopes will lead to renewed growth at the historic West Side Market. 

The legislation, which was introduced last month, provides the following:

  • Hold rents at their 2020 levels for 2022 and caps annual rent increases to no more than a 3% increase in future years.
  • Allows vendors to enter leases for up to three years with one, three-year option to renew. Currently, the city does not allow leases for longer than one year at a time.
  • Permit short-term leases, which would allow the West Side Market to consider daily pop-up events and seasonal vendors.
  • Charges prepared food vendors the same rate as traditional vendors (butcher, meat, vegetable).
  • Repeals a city ordinance that prohibits the sales of alcohol at the West Side Market.

“Vacancies at the West Side Market is currently at 32%, the proposed changes seek to close the gap and set the stage for growth at the West Side Market with fairer and flexible lease agreements for all," Mayor Justin Bibb said in a statement announcing the legislation in February. "The proposed legislation opens the door to new opportunities for growth, providing security to our existing vendors and flexibility to attract seasonal vendors to the market."

The emphasis that the Bibb Administration has placed on improving the West Side Market has not gone unnoticed by the vendors. As Mark Naymik reported earlier this month, tenants are welcoming the changes and the opportunity to connect with new customers. The one thing that won’t change, they said, is their commitment to customer services and the legacy that shapes their work. 

Needed infrastructure improvements are finally taking shape, and hundreds of apartment units are being built around the market, which will deliver a new generation of customers.

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