The antique mall in Erie Street Market. THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
Antique dealers at downtown Toledo’s Erie Street Market will themselves soon become a thing of the past.
The city has issued eviction notices to the 23 vendors in the market’s antique mall. City officials want the mall vacated by Dec. 31.
Antique vendors have had an on-and-off presence at the market on South Erie Street since the late 1990s. But Deputy Mayor Tom Crothers said the city, which runs the market, is not making enough money to keep it operating.
Vendors pay rent and 10 percent of their sales to the city, but that does not cover the cost of maintenance and utilities, the deputy mayor said.
“We just can’t justify the expense,” Mr. Crothers indicated. “The revenues we get from that operation come nowhere near our ability to cover the costs.”
When asked about overall expenses to the city this year, Mr. Crothers said he did not have numbers available and that the city was still trying to put figures together. Mayor Mike Bell said that in past years, it cost the city an average of $300,000 annually to operate the mall.
The eviction puts into question the entire future of the long-struggling Erie Street facility, which had been a passion of former mayor Carty Finkbeiner. Mr. Crothers said there are no plans to find another use for the antique mall space, which has occupied one of four bays at the market since 2008. The continuing operation of two event halls and the Libbey Glass outlet at the site are also under review, Mr. Crothers said.