Mixed feelings over $15M improvement plan at Cleveland’s West Side Market

For weeks, council president Blaine Griffin has questioned the need to spend so much money on improvements while other communities lack basic grocery needs
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 10:42 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Mayor Justin Bibb’s plan to spend $15 million in ARPA funds to improve Cleveland’s West Side Market has been met with some pushback as other city leaders call for more help in underserved communities.

“We don’t have a decent store around here,” said Cece Gorden of North Collinwood. “We need help around here!”

Gorden said her community is being ignored.

As she expressed her own concerns, several neighbors shared theirs.

“We need some help over here,” a man who identified himself as Stan told our crew.

“We’re older people and we need better,” an elderly woman said.

Those thoughts echo those of council president Blaine Griffin who, for nearly a month, has been vocal about taking a closer look at the mayor’s plan.

“I personally believe we have competing needs throughout the city,” Griffin told 19 News in April. “We have some neighborhoods that don’t even have a supermarket. We just want to do the greatest good for the greatest amount of people.”

Just before May of last year, Dave’s Market closed its Lakeshore Blvd. location, leaving people like Ms. Gorden without a full service grocery store in their immediate area.

“We need something over here. Look at us. Look at everybody who lives around here,” she told 19 News.

While Griffin has raised concerns, he has also publicly states his support for the market and the need for investment.

Under former Mayor Frank Jackson’s leadership, West Side Market vendors were critical of the city’s oversight and lack of improvements.

“If [the plan] is not passed... I will not be here. I don’t think I’ll be here long enough to reach my retirement age,” Narrin Calberg told 19 News last month.

Revitalizing the West Side Market was a key part of Mayor Bibb’s campaign.

The improvement plan is still being discussed.