New Development Projects in Downtown Akron Set the Stage for a Successful Future
Downtowns are at the heart of every city. Over the last several years, cities across the nation have started to place an even greater emphasis on building up and enhancing their downtown districts and Northeast Ohio cities are a prime example of this growing trend. While much has been written about the transformation taking place in Downtown Cleveland, Downtown Akron is in the midst of its own renaissance that will shape the city for years to come.
At the center of Akron’s transformation is The Bowery – a redevelopment project that will create retail, residential and mixed-use space aimed at attracting millennials and urbanites. The project will focus on six buildings along S. Main Street, including the historic Landmark building. Situated adjacent to Akron’s historic Civic Theatre, Lock 3 and four public parks, The Bowery will serve as a key connection to other parts of Downtown Akron. The project was recently awarded $5 million dollars in historic tax credits, giving it an important boost.
To many, the development of this historic block of buildings is viewed as a critical project for Akron’s ongoing success. Vacant for more than a decade, the redevelopment of these buildings is a visible sign of the city’s resurgence. As part of the city’s Downtown Vision and Redevelopment Plan, The Bowery will include a mix of residential, retail and office space, with a goal of making it a hub of culture and entertainment. By attracting new residents, businesses and visitors, project planners hope to make this block in Akron a corridor of economic activity and vitality for the city and region.
While The Bowery project is viewed as the centerpiece of Downtown Akron’s future, several other key enhancements are being made throughout the city as well. In fact, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation recently awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Downtown Akron Partnership to improve public spaces downtown. As noted in this Ohio.com article, the grant will primarily focus on the following areas:
- The Link: Identifying and promoting an east-to-west, 1-mile connector dubbed “The Link” that runs from the University of Akron’s University Avenue and Broadway Street area (near the Akron Public Schools’ National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM school and the UA schools of law and business) to the Akron Children’s Hospital campus.
- Cascade Plaza: Enhancing a key public park adjacent to Huntington Bank’s campus and as well as a proposed residential development.
- Night Out at North High Street: Improving and bringing more activity to the sidewalks around the North High business district to attract new activity and pedestrian traffic to the area.
Collectively, these projects help illustrate the physical transformation underway in Downtown Akron and the excitement many have for the city’s future. As more and more people look to live and work in downtown districts, the developments taking place will have a lasting impact on the city and region as a whole.
For more on Akron’s transformation, please follow the links below.