The Broadway Market can't seem to take the first step away from conflict and toward improvement. As a result, tenants are left feeling frustrated at what they see as a lack of progress in efforts to revitalize the East Side landmark.
Recently, the owners of Save-A-Lot and Redlinski Meats, the market's two largest tenants, inquired about renovation efforts and an audit. They were assured by city officials on these and other matters, but not to their satisfaction. Their concern is understandable. They have invested in the market and they want to know what's being done to improve it.
Last year, the market's board of directors was revamped. There was a renewed sense of vigor and the promise to keep politics out of the picture. A new executive director, Richard M. Fronczak, was eventually hired. Fronczak, a 25-year hospitality industry veteran, came with credentials and a fresh set of ideas.
But the bickering continues. Management has been called into question and the market's new executive director is left defending himself. Conditions remain depressed and empty spaces fill the market, making it difficult for mainstays such as Redlinski Meats.
The Broadway Fillmore business district may never return to what it once was, but it can still fulfill the needs of the community that surrounds it. And the market remains vitally important to the neighborhood.
But there's still disagreement whether the market's continued problems are the result of outright mismanagement or continuing political interference. What is clear, however, is that there still is no consensus among the various factions.
And pretty soon it won't matter who is right because the market won't be around unless everyone involved can get together and worry about the greater good.