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Published: Friday, 5/19/2006

Erie Street Market will keep food bay shut until late July

The food bay of the Erie Street Market won't reopen until late July at the earliest, the chairman of the market's management group said yesterday following a meeting with Toledo City Council.

Larry Boyer, chairman of the board of CitiFest Inc., said the board is waiting for a major cleanup and upgrade of the market to be completed to show off the market to prospective tenants.

He and new market manager Peter Kepler said a "vendor fair" for potential tenants will be held sometime in June. "We want to open with a splash," he said.

Mr. Boyer and other officials of the city-owned public market on South Erie Street in the Warehouse District testified yesterday in front of City Council's budget and finance committee.

The committee was holding a hearing on a proposed $150,000 subsidy for the market, which could be voted on Tuesday by the full council.

Council President Rob Ludeman said he was disappointed market officials didn't bring a detailed breakdown of why the full $150,000 is needed.

The market's accountant, Denise Blissard, promised to supply a detailed report. She said the subsidy is needed in part to offset the loss of rental income caused by the shutdown of the market on March 20.

Vendors vacated the food bay of the market so it could be cleaned, painted, have new lighting installed, and and get upgraded interior and exterior facades.

Other bays - the Libbey Glass Factory Outlet, the Antiques Mall, and the Civic Center Promenade event space - have remained open.

Mr. Boyer said self-sufficiency is the market's goal.

He said vendors will be recruited who can appeal to the market's main consumers - people who live in the Warehouse District, downtown, and nearby Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority homes as well as tourists and visitors to Fifth Third Field.



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