Author Topic: Akron: Downtown: Development and News  (Read 15850 times)

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Offline ASP1984

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #180 on: July 26, 2018, 12:09:51 PM »
Personally, I'd love to see some kind of pedestrian tunnel under MLK/Rt. 59 that connects Northside and the Main-Market Arts District.

That would actually be a much longer tunnel than you're probably thinking.  A lot longer than any of the Downtown skywalks, just for comparison.  MLK is very wide there, then there's the railroad tracks, and before that (assuming you meant a tunnel straight from the Arts District) is the ABIA parking lot.

I really held out hope that the deconstruction of the OH-59 Innerbelt would divert traffic away from that intersection enough that MLK could be narrowed to something less forbidding for pedestrians and that area could genuinely be developed with new construction, not just connectors between areas of Downtown that are still actually physically somewhat far apart.  But the Innerbelt deconstruction has been anticlimactic to say the least.  There are enough new stretches of asphalt through there that I don't think that, on net, they really reduced the total coverage by that much, nor really diverted that much traffic.

On this topic, the Innerbelt National Forest project is currently underway and slated for official unveiling on August 3rd - https://www.innerbeltnationalforest.com/

I personally love the idea of there being some permanent green space in place of the Innerbelt, interspersed with part of the Little Cuyahoga tributary that gets exposed during the freeway's deconstruction. Is anyone aware of conceptual plans (e.g. housing, mixed-use development) for what could possibly take shape here along these lines? How much acreage does the City anticipate being made available? I'd be curious to hear what the local development shops (e.g. Troppe, Testa) have to say about it.

It would be great to see more discussion and photos of the INF (and related plans) in general once its up and running, seeing as it will only be for two months.

https://www.ohio.com/akron/news/local/artist-ready-to-unveil-forest-next-to-akron-innerbelt
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 12:14:15 PM by ASP1984 »

Offline yanni_gogolak

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #181 on: July 27, 2018, 08:55:42 AM »
Personally, I'd love to see some kind of pedestrian tunnel under MLK/Rt. 59 that connects Northside and the Main-Market Arts District.

That would actually be a much longer tunnel than you're probably thinking.  A lot longer than any of the Downtown skywalks, just for comparison.  MLK is very wide there, then there's the railroad tracks, and before that (assuming you meant a tunnel straight from the Arts District) is the ABIA parking lot.

I really held out hope that the deconstruction of the OH-59 Innerbelt would divert traffic away from that intersection enough that MLK could be narrowed to something less forbidding for pedestrians and that area could genuinely be developed with new construction, not just connectors between areas of Downtown that are still actually physically somewhat far apart.  But the Innerbelt deconstruction has been anticlimactic to say the least.  There are enough new stretches of asphalt through there that I don't think that, on net, they really reduced the total coverage by that much, nor really diverted that much traffic.

On this topic, the Innerbelt National Forest project is currently underway and slated for official unveiling on August 3rd - https://www.innerbeltnationalforest.com/

I personally love the idea of there being some permanent green space in place of the Innerbelt, interspersed with part of the Little Cuyahoga tributary that gets exposed during the freeway's deconstruction. Is anyone aware of conceptual plans (e.g. housing, mixed-use development) for what could possibly take shape here along these lines? How much acreage does the City anticipate being made available? I'd be curious to hear what the local development shops (e.g. Troppe, Testa) have to say about it.

It would be great to see more discussion and photos of the INF (and related plans) in general once its up and running, seeing as it will only be for two months.

https://www.ohio.com/akron/news/local/artist-ready-to-unveil-forest-next-to-akron-innerbelt

There is nothing public about any future plans and if people are interested, they aren't talking. They City does not own the land and they said they will not try to acquire it from ODOT until there is a proposal on the table and accepted.
There are plenty of viable buildings that are sitting partially empty or completely vacant downtown. The Innerbelt does not have any utilities in that area and it has no connectivity to it's surroundings. Right now it's not a good option for development in Akron.
I am excited to see how the "forest" comes out though. They already have trees planted.

Offline yanni_gogolak

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #182 on: July 27, 2018, 09:01:27 AM »
Akron Community Revitalization Fund announces $1.67M interim loan for Bowery Project
Updated Jul 26, 5:58 PM; Posted Jul 26, 5:59 PM
By Megan Becka, special to cleveland.com

AKRON, Ohio - The Akron Community Revitalization Fund on Thursday announced a $1.67 million interim construction loan for the Bowery redevelopment project in downtown Akron.

The $40 million mixed-use project calls for redeveloping the historic 12-story Bowery building and five smaller buildings from 164 South Main St. to 184 South Main St. into apartments, along with stores, restaurants, a microbrewery and a grocery store.

https://www.cleveland.com/akron/index.ssf/2018/07/akron_community_revitalization_4.html

Offline ASP1984

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #183 on: August 06, 2018, 11:19:30 PM »
While I was back home this weekend I paid a visit to the Innerbelt National Forest project, and can totally see the what NEObuckeye means when saying that the deconstruction didn't actually do that much. There's still fast traffic in either direction and there appears to be little opportunity to create meaningful connections (pedestrian and otherwise) across the corridor or adequate space within the deconstructed portion to support new construction. It still kind of functions the way it always has.

Nonetheless, I snapped a few photos of the INF (which had to relocate to the side of the Innerbelt bc the middle portion was too inaccessible) along with a conceptual rendering by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative on what could possibly take shape on the site.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 09:49:24 AM by ASP1984 »

Offline yanni_gogolak

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #184 on: August 08, 2018, 08:53:27 AM »
While I was back home this weekend I paid a visit to the Innerbelt National Forest project, and can totally see the what NEObuckeye means when saying that the deconstruction didn't actually do that much. There's still fast traffic in either direction and there appears to be little opportunity to create meaningful connections (pedestrian and otherwise) across the corridor or adequate space within the deconstructed portion to support new construction. It still kind of functions the way it always has.

Nonetheless, I snapped a few photos of the INF (which had to relocate to the side of the Innerbelt bc the middle portion was too inaccessible) along with a conceptual rendering by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative on what could possibly take shape on the site.

Correct. The Innerbelt work was never about deconstruction. It was about reconfiguring to lessen the maintenance burden.

Offline Gramarye

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #185 on: August 08, 2018, 01:20:13 PM »
While I was back home this weekend I paid a visit to the Innerbelt National Forest project, and can totally see the what NEObuckeye means when saying that the deconstruction didn't actually do that much. There's still fast traffic in either direction and there appears to be little opportunity to create meaningful connections (pedestrian and otherwise) across the corridor or adequate space within the deconstructed portion to support new construction. It still kind of functions the way it always has.

Nonetheless, I snapped a few photos of the INF (which had to relocate to the side of the Innerbelt bc the middle portion was too inaccessible) along with a conceptual rendering by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative on what could possibly take shape on the site.

Correct. The Innerbelt work was never about deconstruction. It was about reconfiguring to lessen the maintenance burden.

It was sold very differently.  It was sold as genuine deconstruction.  There were town halls seeking community input on what to do with the space once it was truly clear again; with the new road pattern, in hindsight, all those town halls were based on completely false premises.  I hadn't even heard of this Innerbelt National Forest project until recently and it's honestly an excessively grandiose name for something so small.  The name makes it sound like a serious extension of the MetroParks/CVNP system, and there isn't enough newly-freed space for it to be anything of the kind.

Offline JamesMatthew

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #186 on: August 08, 2018, 07:26:36 PM »
While I was back home this weekend I paid a visit to the Innerbelt National Forest project, and can totally see the what NEObuckeye means when saying that the deconstruction didn't actually do that much. There's still fast traffic in either direction and there appears to be little opportunity to create meaningful connections (pedestrian and otherwise) across the corridor or adequate space within the deconstructed portion to support new construction. It still kind of functions the way it always has.

Nonetheless, I snapped a few photos of the INF (which had to relocate to the side of the Innerbelt bc the middle portion was too inaccessible) along with a conceptual rendering by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative on what could possibly take shape on the site.

Correct. The Innerbelt work was never about deconstruction. It was about reconfiguring to lessen the maintenance burden.

It was sold very differently.  It was sold as genuine deconstruction.  There were town halls seeking community input on what to do with the space once it was truly clear again; with the new road pattern, in hindsight, all those town halls were based on completely false premises.  I hadn't even heard of this Innerbelt National Forest project until recently and it's honestly an excessively grandiose name for something so small.  The name makes it sound like a serious extension of the MetroParks/CVNP system, and there isn't enough newly-freed space for it to be anything of the kind.


Not trying to sound negative but from the pics ASP added it looks congested and slightly hillbilly. Hopefully it looks better in person. Will probably be a rest stop for the trail rather than a destination.

Offline ASP1984

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #187 on: August 08, 2018, 10:52:14 PM »
The guy tending the site when I visited, an artist from San Francisco, happened to be one of the if not the main guy behind the project. He organized the dinner down on the innerbelt last year, and at the end of the day, and in his view, the grandiosity of the name and concept was to get Akronites (or the City?) thinking about what could be done long term. Agreed it was oversold, but I suppose it was never meant to be anything more than simply a thought experiment. I admire his tenacity, being that he isn't from Akron, but I do wonder what the City's thoughts were on the whole thing from the get go.

Nonetheless, still worth visiting. There are a lot of interesting historical documents on display from the planning phase back in the 60s/70s. Hopefully the City agrees to plant more trees permanently in the area. Agreed it would make a nice rest stop, at least.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 11:00:12 PM by ASP1984 »

Offline yanni_gogolak

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Re: Akron: Downtown: Development and News
« Reply #188 on: August 09, 2018, 09:14:31 AM »
While I was back home this weekend I paid a visit to the Innerbelt National Forest project, and can totally see the what NEObuckeye means when saying that the deconstruction didn't actually do that much. There's still fast traffic in either direction and there appears to be little opportunity to create meaningful connections (pedestrian and otherwise) across the corridor or adequate space within the deconstructed portion to support new construction. It still kind of functions the way it always has.

Nonetheless, I snapped a few photos of the INF (which had to relocate to the side of the Innerbelt bc the middle portion was too inaccessible) along with a conceptual rendering by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative on what could possibly take shape on the site.

Correct. The Innerbelt work was never about deconstruction. It was about reconfiguring to lessen the maintenance burden.

It was sold very differently.  It was sold as genuine deconstruction.  There were town halls seeking community input on what to do with the space once it was truly clear again; with the new road pattern, in hindsight, all those town halls were based on completely false premises.  I hadn't even heard of this Innerbelt National Forest project until recently and it's honestly an excessively grandiose name for something so small.  The name makes it sound like a serious extension of the MetroParks/CVNP system, and there isn't enough newly-freed space for it to be anything of the kind.

That was never the intention from the City. We both attended numerous meetings of ideas. From my recollection though, many were not organized by the City but other groups looking for ideas.
To remove all of that concrete and restore it in any manner is a tremendous financial undertaking.
Also, the City does not own the land, so I'm not sure why they would even do it in the first place. They were simply tasked with maintenance of it, which they are trying to lessen their responsibility by the realignment.


The guy tending the site when I visited, an artist from San Francisco, happened to be one of the if not the main guy behind the project. He organized the dinner down on the innerbelt last year, and at the end of the day, and in his view, the grandiosity of the name and concept was to get Akronites (or the City?) thinking about what could be done long term. Agreed it was oversold, but I suppose it was never meant to be anything more than simply a thought experiment. I admire his tenacity, being that he isn't from Akron, but I do wonder what the City's thoughts were on the whole thing from the get go.

Nonetheless, still worth visiting. There are a lot of interesting historical documents on display from the planning phase back in the 60s/70s. Hopefully the City agrees to plant more trees permanently in the area. Agreed it would make a nice rest stop, at least.
The concept was supposed to be implemented on the Innerbelt. But the City would not help with that idea, so other areas had to be explored.