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NEOBuckeye

Metropolitan Tower 224'
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  1. I've been following it, particularly the gradual revitalization of Downtown Barberton and Kenmore Boulevard, but there hasn't been anything quite on this scale of economic development + job creation happening within the broader area in memory. Amazon represents a major shot in the arm there.
  2. Probably one of the biggest economic/employment news items to take place in Akron in well over a decade, and in one of the most depressed corners of the metropolitan area at that--Barberton, Kenmore, and lower West Akron. To be certain, Amazon opening up a single warehouse there isn't a panacea, but there will be some economic "spillover" effect throughout these areas and within the Romig Road corridor. I imagine there will also likely be an influx of new residents and interest in creating new housing/apartment options in these places. I suspect Akron Public Schools' plans to close Kenmore High School and its general neglect of this part of the city during the Superintendency of David James will prove to have been shortsighted.
  3. Stopped in to check out Starbucks and Handel's a couple of days ago. The Starbucks was surprisingly lacking in seating despite its spaciousness. It definitely gave the impression of being one of the locations where people should stop in to order latte on their way to the office, but not let the dust collect on their shoes or set up for more than a working meeting at the conference table and chairs in the back. For a store that I presume is supposed to serve as something of a neighborhood hub for East End, it communicates a much different message, and seems incongruent with its decidedly suburban exterior. For what it's worth, there does seem to be ample room to add more tables and seating along the wall opposite the counter. The Handel's for its part had a few teenage girls standing at the counter, much like you would expect for a neighborhood walk-up ice cream stand. The two stores are nice additions to an area that has been sorely lacking in retail. On the whole, however, the strip center seems like a missed opportunity for East End to extend the streetwall anchored by the former Goodyear HQ buildings and foster a genuine sense of walkability and vibrancy in the new district. What is really served by having the setback from E. Market with a row of parking in the front?
  4. True. I'm guessing the main market for these apartments will be young-ish professional singles and couples w/o children, and empty nesters who will appreciate having easy access to Rt. 8 & Akron/Cleveland, as well as the amenities along Front St/the Riverfront, as well as access to the Natatorium, Portage Crossing and what remains of Chapel Hill nearby. The "return to downtown" trend seems to be filtering out to Akron's suburbs, at least those with a downtown to work with.
  5. ^I agree, 370 units going in over the parking decks would be a definite game-changer for downtown CF, not to mention adding to its skyline. This is definitely a positive development, if CF allows it to proceed.
  6. Nice! I figured they would step in and purchase it. Seems like the entire Middlebury/East Market corridor is increasingly poised for renewal and growth. It's both timely and long overdue.
  7. South Main and the Main/Market Arts District? The benefits don't yet seem obvious in either one, but then, all of the recent construction hasn't done much to help either.
  8. Huntington tower has been the tallest in the city since it was erected in the early 1930s and was originally known as the First Central Trust building. PNC tower is a close second--sometimes it looks taller depending upon your perspective in relation to the two. Huntington tower has the prestige factor going for it as Akron's tallest building and its most historically significant and recognizable skyscraper, much like the LaVeque tower in Columbus. That appeal for some might outweigh the structural drawbacks of residential units.
  9. Wow. I never imagined that building would be repurposed at all, much less as an apartment complex. Very interesting. Looks like East End is gradually breathing new life and energy into the Middlebury/E. Market corridor, a little faster than I anticipated. It's nice to see a long-neglected neighborhood being reborn, even if it still has a ways to go yet.
  10. NEOBuckeye

    Voting

    Looks like same old, same old, for local government and policy here in this state under DeWine and the GOP-controlled General Assembly. At least with Cordray, there was some hope for compromise. How is it again that this state has so many cities, yet no coherent state-level leadership?
  11. Looks like APS is offloading 10 buildings that weren't remodeled. This could obviously lead to more redevelopment opportunities around the city. Personally, I'm curious to see what becomes of Goodyear, with East End taking off. https://www.ohio.com/news/20181008/lebron-james-family-foundation-donates-more-to-i-promise-school-district-to-let-go-of-10-old-buildings
  12. Wadsworth in Medina County is unmistakably an Akron suburb, even though all of Medina County gets lumped into the Cleveland MSA.
  13. A unified regional strategy could happen in NE Ohio, but it would likely take leadership from Cleveland that could win buy-in from the major economic centers throughout the region (e.g. Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Lorain-Elyria, etc.), something that Cleveland has an acute lack of these days. It's certainly not going to come from Mayor Frank Jackson, who is about as anti-regional and as a Cleveland mayor has been during the post-WWII era. NE Ohio needs someone far more visionary, charismatic, and probably younger in their perspective, someone a bit more focused out like Pittsburgh's mayor Bill Peduto or Columbus's former mayor Mike Coleman. In the absence of that, Akron likely will continue to pursue its own agenda and eke out its own niche in the grand scheme of things, in spite of Cleveland's gravitational pull. Personally, to this end, I'd love to see Akron look south and build stronger ties with Canton. Working together, the two cities could pool their assets and form a substantially stronger alternative pole to Cleveland in NE Ohio.
  14. If there even must be a separation between Akron and Cleveland, Wadsworth belongs in the Akron MSA without a doubt. It is in every respect a suburb of Akron from its culture, to schools, architecture and infrastructure. I'd certainly argue that the county lines should be redrawn to include it in Summit County as opposed to Medina County. I would also argue for similar reasons that Twinsburg is much more of a Cleveland suburb than an Akron one. It's culture, schools, architecture and infrastructure are much more similar to what you find in Cleveland's suburbs than in Akron's suburbs. The northern tip of Summit County could easily be reallocated to Cuyahoga County without it seeming out of context. It feels quite incidental to Summit County and Akron. Hudson is about 50/50 Akron/Cleveland from my experience. More people in Hudson may work in Cleveland than Akron, but there is a surprising amount of interest there in what goes on in Akron and in Summit County in general. They work in the north, but tend to look south towards Akron.
  15. An Amazon distribution center for that part of the Akron area will be a genuine godsend. The surrounding Lane-Wooster, Kenmore and Barberton communities are among the most depressed in the metro. Several hundred to 1000+ living wage blue collar jobs coming in will be a shot in the arm--of the positive sort. This is honestly something that needed to happen years ago, but there's no time like the present. It should also further serve to boost the nascent economic revitalization efforts in Barberton and Kenmore. Now if we could just figure out a second life for the Chapel Hill Mall property.
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