City on the Rise: Bowery Project Brightens Akron Future


Jake Herron

South Main Street in Downtown Akron.

By Matthew Hogan, Guest Writer

The classic quote, “Why not Akron,” has never been more relevant than it is today. 2018 saw the launch of the Bowery Project downtown and with it, a promising future for the city.

A full article on what the project entails can be found in a piece written by Crain’s Business, here.

In summary, the $42 million Bowery Project will be breaking ground to revitalize an important stretch of Main Street near the Civic Theater later this year. The project will create just under 100 new apartments as well as 40,000 square feet of retail and mixed-use space.

In conjunction with this, the Akron Civic Theater will begin work on a $5 million renovation right next door to create a new concert venue, outdoor viewing screen and a new administration office. Not only that, but a block away, the CitiCenter will also receive a $20 million redevelopment creating 60 moderately priced apartments, 20,000 square feet of office space and 3,000 square feet dedicated to amenities.

In short, that is a ton of downtown renovation.

As a student at The University of Akron, I am beyond excited to hear this news and you be should too. It is difficult to put into words just how beneficial this downtown revitalization is to the surrounding area. Although construction might fill the streets for a year or two, the impact on the region is undoubtedly a breath of fresh air.

Before the turn of the century, many viewed UA as a commuter school. A place to get an education and then immediately leave.

Over the summer of my freshman and sophomore years, I worked as an orientation leader at the University. In my time, I had numerous conversations with parents who were alumni that were dumbfounded over how much campus has changed for the better.

Over the past few decades, the administration at UA has worked diligently to create an atmosphere of belonging and home. With the construction of updated residence halls, a recreation facility that is top in the nation and a student union that is a mecca for events and leisure time, UA has created an environment that many, like myself, have fallen in love with.

This, partnered with recent updates to the downtown area, such as the construction of Northside Marketplace, restaurants, breweries and updates to staples such as Lock 3, there has never been a better time in recent history to be an Akronite. With the creation of new living spaces, the recent development and retention of companies constantly in search of fresh perspectives and now the renovation to downtown attractions, the question plaguing students minds on where to go after graduation can finally be answered. Here.

No, Downtown Akron is not perfect. No downtown area in this country could claim such a thing. However, Akron is in a perfect spot and has a perfect opportunity to grow. As a student, you should take advantage of the plentiful opportunities that are across this wonderful city. Whether that be grabbing a drink at Akronym Brewing, taking a walk through Sand Run MetroPark, going on a date to Dante Boccuzi or taking part in one of the many events that take place year-round. How could anyone get bored in such a place?

So yes, I am excited for the future of this city. Any like-minded Akronite should be. So, after graduation when considering where to live, work and prosper it’s hard not to beg the question, “Why not Akron?”