Legislation Proposed to Drive Growth at West Side Market
Friday, February 25, 2022 – Cleveland, OH – Mayor Justin M. Bibb’s administration will propose legislation to City Council on Monday to cap rental rate increases, expand lease options and permit alcohol sales to support vendors and drive growth 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. 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,” Mayor Bibb stated.
The proposed legislation will provide an opportunity for the City to enter into fair lease agreements with tenants. If not amended, the ordinance would require the City to increase vendor rents by over 30% in 2022, which is unfair to West Side Market vendors.
The proposed changes to the ordinance would:
- Hold rent rates at their 2020 levels for 2022 and cap annual rent increases to no more than a 3% increase in future years.
- Allow the City to enter leases for up to three years with one, three-year option to renew. Currently, the City is not permitted to enter leases for longer than one year at a time, which prevents some businesses from securing financing and is a disincentive for those who may want to invest in their space.
- Permit short-term leases, which would allow the West Side Market to consider daily pop-up events, seasonal vendors, and food trucks
- Charge prepared food vendors the same rate as traditional (butcher, meat, vegetable) vendors. Currently, prepared food vendors pay a 60% premium on space compared to traditional vendors; and,
- Repeal the City of Cleveland ordinance that prohibits alcohol sales at West Side Market stands.
In addition to the proposed ordinance changes, the Bibb administration is requesting authorization to renew an agreement with Ohio City, Inc. who maintained a fund to benefit the West Side Market during its centennial celebration in 2012.
The legislation would also authorize the City and Ohio City, Inc. to continue collecting donations for the West Side Market and would allow those donations to be spent on programs benefiting the West Side Market including marketing, establishing new revenue-generating activities at and near the West Side Market, and facilitating long-term planning for the West Side Market.
The legislation will be introduced to City Council on Monday, February 28. City Council must pass the legislation before any proposed changes can take effect.