After Jackson - Episode 7: Cranes In The Sky

The Intro apartment building in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood faces the West Side Market and a skyline view of Downtown Cleveland.
The Intro apartment building in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood faces the West Side Market and a skyline view of Downtown Cleveland. [Nick Castele / Ideastream Public Media]
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Around 10 years ago, there was a lot of vacancy on Euclid Avenue in Downtown Cleveland. Now, this historic corridor is home to apartments, restaurants, a grocery store.

The old rotunda of Cleveland Trust bank – Dennis Kucinich’s old nemesis from the default showdown in 1978 – is now a Heinen’s. The Cleveland Athletic Club is now The Athlon, a luxury apartment development. Even further down the street, near Playhouse Square, is the Lumen, a brand new high-rise.

But in some parts of town, especially East Side neighborhoods that were targets for subprime lending and bore the brunt of foreclosures, property values have yet to return to pre-recession levels, and vacant commercial buildings have not seen new life.

The big question facing whoever becomes Cleveland’s next mayor: What comes next?

D.W. Whitaker meats counter at the West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio.

Don Whitaker, president of the United West Side Market Tenant's Association, wants the Cleveland Metroparks to take over management of the market. "They know how to manage and I want to keep it public, and they have to answer to the county and they have to answer to the city."

Over at W. 25th Street, vendors at the West Side Market are eager for a new administration at City Hall – one, they hope, with a commitment to improving the market.

From refrigeration to power outages, vendors are frustrated by repeated systemic interruptions to their operations.

“It is our Colosseum. It is not being taken care of in that same light,” said Tom McIntyre of Kate’s Fish. “We need major, major overhauls of infrastructure. Electric and plumbing are top of mind.”

Follow “After Jackson: Cleveland's Next Mayor” on NPR One, iTunes or on your favorite podcast platform. Or catch it every Wednesday at 9 a.m. on the “Sound of Ideas” on 90.3 WCPN.

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