Expanded prepared food offerings, public seating, event space and teaching kitchen proposed for West Side Market
April 13, 2023 — Cleveland — At last night’s vendor meeting, West Side Market merchants received a preview of proposed changes aimed at maintaining the Market’s traditional focus on fresh and specialty foods while adding prepared foods and creating spaces for events and education.
“For the new nonprofit manager to succeed, the City needs to address outdated infrastructure and basic accessibility issues like elevators to bathrooms,” said Jessica Trivisonno, the Mayor’s Senior Strategist for West Side Market. “That’s why the plan starts with basement renovations, which are not seen by the public but critically important to the success of the merchants and the Market.”
More public-facing proposed changes include relocating produce merchants into a renovated East Arcade, with proper plumbing, heating and air conditioning. These changes will substantially reduce food waste and positively impact produce quality.
The proposal also recommends converting the North Arcade into a food hall with 12 independent prepared food businesses, creating new opportunities for diverse businesses to operate at West Side Market, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
The mezzanine – overlooking the market hall and offering spectacular views of downtown Cleveland – will become public seating and event space, complete with a hands-on teaching kitchen.
“These proposed renovations preserve West Side Market’s core shopping experience while meeting customer demand for food to eat in the Market and making West Side Market an even more valuable resource for the city. The proposed changes reduce vacancies, increase operating revenues, and expand the diversity of products and businesses at the Market,” said Ted Spitzer of Market Ventures, Inc., the consulting firm that is developing the Market’s masterplan.
The West Side Market Advisory Committee, a diverse group of stakeholders including Market merchants, city officials, and local experts, is helping guide the effort.
Detailed renderings and cost estimates for physical upgrades and operating plans for the Market will be released later this spring with the completion of the second phase of the masterplan.
The City shared the core strategies of the plan, which aim to:
- Prioritize the Market’s traditional fresh foods and specialty food offerings
- Support long-term, multi-generational businesses
- Expand product offerings to include more ethnic specialties and prepared food and beverages
- Diversify merchants to better represent the region’s racial and ethnic composition
- Expand food production within the Market
- Introduce technologies and merchandizing strategies that better serve customers
- Increase the availability and promotion of local foods, including participation of regional farmers
- Become the preeminent place to learn about and celebrate food
In the coming weeks, the Bibb Administration will introduce legislation appropriating $15 million to West Side Market to fund infrastructure repairs. Funds will be used to renovate the Market’s 30,000 square foot basement, repair the Market’s roof and facade, add air conditioning, and upgrade the heading, electrical, and water infrastructure.
“The City will always own West Side Market and we are responsible for preserving this gem for future generations,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “The plans previewed this week will set the Market on the course for operational self-sufficiency, but implementing the entire proposed plan will require funds beyond the city’s investment. We look forward to partnering with stakeholders who share our commitment to West Side Market.”
Cleveland Public Market Corporation, the new entity poised to operate West Side Market, anticipates working with the administration to raise additional funds needed to make the master plan a reality. CPMC is in the process of hiring an executive director and developing terms for a management agreement with the City.
More about the Market and phase one of the masterplan is available here: West Side Market | City of Cleveland Ohio - Mayor Justin M. Bibb