CLEVELAND-– From installing lightbulbs to setting up the cash registers to stocking shelves and produce aisles, workers are getting ready!
The grand opening of the new East Side Market on E. 105th Street and St. Clair Avenue is set for Wednesday morning; a major economic development now five years in the making.
Developer Arthur Fayne says, “When you take on a project like this, it turned out to be a renovation for a market project, but it ended up being a restoration project. So, for the unknowns, some things we did not know.”
The East Side Market initially opened back in 1988.
But as demographics changed and poverty increased, the market was forced to shut down in 2007, with the nearest supermarket well over a mile away.
Newly hired cashier and life-long resident Sarah Powell says the void was particularly tough for the elderly.
Powell added, “Some can’t catch the bus, you know, with the East Side market here, they can just walk across the street, get their fresh vegetables.”
Future shopper Abbie Christiansen said, “We would deliver online, use Instacart, and it was convenient but I like grocery shopping and picking my own vegetables and fruit.”
The $6 million dollar renovation includes state of the art security as well.
Healthy food options being offered here are just the beginning. Just a few steps outside the East Side Market’s front doors. The community will also be learning about leading healthy lifestyles as well, with a new healthcare facility next door.”
Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services president Willie F. Austin said, “About 20-percent of healthcare takes care of the physical need of the body. But there’s another 80-percent that’s environmental.”
“So, this is a true economic development engine. You have 55-jobs inside the grocery store, but the building is going to house 75-new employees, people that were unemployed previously. So that is huge for the city of Cleveland,” adds Fayne.