CLEVELAND - The next time you visit the Market District in the Ohio City neighborhood on Cleveland's near west side you will likely notice some changes.
The area is anchored by the West Side Market and has seen a resurgence in recent years.
NewsChannel5 cameras found the progress continuing this past week.
Near the corner of West 25th Street and Bridge Avenue, the marquee signage of former Club Moda has been removed. The nightclub closed in 2006 after the owner was convicted of laundering drug money and has been vacant ever since.
According to Ohio City Inc. Executive Director Eric Wobser, work will soon commence on transforming the Club Moda property, once the Rialto Theater, into the headquarters of Mitchell's Ice Cream, currently located in Rocky River. The $4 million project will include a retail storefront, production and distribution facility and Mitchell's corporate offices.
Another visible change in the Market District is the addition of dozens of 'Clean and Safe Ambassadors' working in the area. The Ambassadors are tasked with keeping the neighborhood clean, offering information and directions and working with Cleveland Police on safety and security issues.
"We've got them on first, second and third shift -- keeping Ohio City clean and safe for the millions of visitors who come down to the neighborhood every year," said Wobser.
The ambassador program is a cooperative effort between the Market District Improvement Corp. and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance which has provided a similar service in the downtown area for years.
Lastly, the renovation of Market Square Park, directly across from the West Side Market is nearing completion. This week, work crews were installing new park benches and trash cans and putting finishing touches on the new stage.
"Market Avenue has 400 seats for diners," said Wobser. "The previous stage was not visible from the patios. So now you can come down to one of the restaurants, sit on the patio and take in the band."
Wobser said the park will be open to the public next month and a official dedication by the city is planned for June 2, 2012, as part of the ongoing centennial celebration of the West Side Market .
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