Akron is one of only five U.S. cities in the Reimagining the Civic Commons project, a three-year, national initiative to revitalize and connect civic assets. Temporary and permanent design features and regular programming create civic pride, bridge diverse neighborhoods and foster economic development.
The city has re-envisioned several of the city’s neighborhood business districts as mini-downtowns of sorts, making them more attractive and pedestrian-friendly. For instance, the historic Kenmore neighborhood—with new bike lanes, parking and façade improvements—has come alive with seven recording studios, two guitar shops, a drum manufacturer and live music venues opening in recent years.
- The $42 million Bowery Project is redeveloping six Main Street buildings near the historic Akron Civic Theatre and the Lock 3 venue. It will include about 100 new apartments and 60,000 square feet of mixed-use space that is expected to include cafes, retailers, coffee shops and a brewery. The backside of the buildings will open to the tumbling water of the old Ohio & Erie Canal, creating a river walk of sorts.
- The Law Building on Main Street is being converted to mixed use and will include more than include 112 luxury apartments.
- Main Street itself is undergoing a nearly $30 million renovation. When complete, the section will have new sidewalks, bike and walkways, transit facilities, lighting and landscaping.
- The old City Center hotel is being converted into more than 140 apartments.
- In the Northside District, which has some of the city’s most established loft living, a new ground-floor marketplace for local retailers plus a lower level farmers market have opened. New lofts are being added.
- One of the fastest growing and wealthiest counties in Ohio.
- Situated between Akron and Cleveland.
- Classic, old-fashioned downtowns surrounded by rural areas and spacious homes.
- Made up of college towns, a medical school, farms and small cities.
- Traversed by two east-west interstates.
- Kent has a young, quirky vibe; Aurora is an affluent city in the orbits of both Akron and Cleveland.
- Solid homes built in the years of the city’s rubber boom to fresh and sophisticated downtown lofts.
- Significant property tax abatements on new home construction in Akron.
- Fairlawn is an upscale suburb adjacent to Akron; Hudson to the north has a classic New England feel.
Revitalization is an ongoing project in our region. Here are two of the latest examples.
The downtown of Cuyahoga Falls, Summit County’s second largest city, just underwent a $10 million transformation project, which opened Front Street to vehicular traffic. Upgraded lighting, landscaping and seating have drawn new retailers to the city center.
Building on the success of its First and Main shopping center, downtown Hudson is in the midst of revitalizing 20 acres of industrial properties into Class A office space and housing for empty nesters and young professionals.
For more information on our neighborhoods, visit our community link.