CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Local business owners are upset over the city of Cleveland's timing on the renovation of the West Side Market parking lot.
Construction, which began the first week of April, has taken out about nearly half of the available parking behind popular Ohio City restaurants and businesses. Owners are reporting a 25-30 percent drop off in revenue since the construction began.
"The timing and execution of it couldn't have been worse. There's never a good time for a project like this. But there's definitely an awful time, having last summer under construction, and the RNC a month away, this couldn't be any worse than it is right now," said Ghassan Maalouf, owner of Nate's Deli on West 25th Street.
They are particularly worried about missing out on profits during the Republican National Convention in July. The project won't be complete until December, but will provide more than 120 new parking places.
"After the first phase, we'd love for them to put the project on ice until the end of the RNC that way we can try to get some business done, and the whole nation's spotlight is going to be on Cleveland for that whole week. Let us show people what we can do and make it accessible to those who want to come down here," Maalouf said.
As a response, the city released the following statement:
The City of Cleveland, West Side Market Vendor's Association, Ohio City Inc. , and the Ohio City community have all been engaged on this project and have regularly received communication about the lot consolidation prior to any work commencing. While the lot consolidation may be a problem temporarily, it will become a permanent asset to the Market, Vendors, and community.
Per Ken Silliman, the Mayor Jack's Chief of Staff and Matt Spronz with the capital improvement projects department, here are the numbers:
- 498 spaces before construction
- 304 currently available during Phase 1
- 506 available during Phase 2 (June 15 thru Sept. 1) They will be working on the entrance/exit points around W. 24th and Lorain, so exiting and entrancing will be more difficult.
- 305 available during Phase 3 (Sept. 1- Dec. 1)
- 637 available upon completion (139 more total)
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