Waterfront living comes to Akron

“Imagine a relaxing moonlit dinner, listening to the trickling sounds of moving water and basking in the buzz of city nightlife. If that sounds appealing, don’t look any farther than downtown Akron. Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Robert Bowman reveals Akron’s plan to transform downtown life into a waterfront atmosphere.”

Imagine a relaxing moonlit dinner, listening to the trickling sounds of moving water and basking in the buzz of city nightlife. If that sounds appealing, don’t look any farther than downtown Akron.

Deputy Mayor of Economic Development Robert Bowman reveals Akron’s plan to transform downtown life into a waterfront atmosphere. He said construction has already begun on the development of new waterfront restaurants, entertainment areas, shops, offices and apartments on the canalway downtown.

Stretching from the corner of Bowery Street and North Main Street, a strip of restaurants and new developments will soon be nestled.

Akron residents can expect some exciting times to take place in downtown, Bowman said.

The restaurants will be located right on the canal shore and will be connected to the and outdoor venue Lock 3, under the overhanging brick wall of the theater. The desirable location will enable future customers to walk over to Lock 3 and catch a summer concert after dinner or drinks.

The six building strip is being redeveloped and undergoing historic renovation to become the as new downtown attraction. Turning the battered Main Street storefronts and antique buildings next to the Civic Theater into new attractions will incorporate the nostalgic characteristics of the historic buildings with the contemporary design of new architecture. The plan is to build loft apartments above the restaurants and make commercial space available below.

The specific type of restaurants, entertainment and time of completion has not been decided, but Bowman revealed that it’s going to be something unique.

Bowman added that they are working on the idea of projecting films onto the outside wall of the Civic Theater, so patrons can watch movies while dining out on summer nights.

The success of the Akron Aeros minor league baseball team at Canal Park, combined with the Lock 3 attractions, the Barley House and the opening of the Ohio Brewing Company and Damon’s Grille in the historic O’Neil building have led the way to these new developments. Bowman explained that it is important to concentrate on downtown Akron. The downtown of any city is the living room of the community, he said.

Bowman adds that the centralization will attract more businesses, create a demand for more services and jobs and will help increase fire and police protection.

The new developments in downtown will not only be something for residents to look forward to, but will eventually increase the progression on projects in surrounding communities. Bowman explains that increasing the flow of businesses and consumerism downtown will generate more tax dollars for the city, which will be distributed to surrounding neighborhoods.

A healthy downtown equals healthy neighborhoods, Bowman said.

The excitement surrounding downtown will only add to the success of up and coming projects such as the Middlebury Marketplace, the first new retail shopping center to open in center-city Akron in the past 40 years, and aid in the developments of the available space in Highland Square.

Bowman’s vision for the future of downtown is to concentrate on a number of significant medical developments such as the Biomed Corridor, the Orthopedic institute, an Academic Health Center, Northeast Ohio University Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and the expansion of Akron’s three hospitals. Plus, the Goodyear project will continue to advance and progress into the years ahead.


” #1.1361025:1185508560.jpg:IMG_5463.jpg:View of Lock 3 and the canal from State Street.:Christopher Bair”