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Report Suggests Ways Akron Can Grow Through Housing

2/17/2017

Crain's Cleveland Business

Just as Akron sets out on a new initiative to rebuild its population, two of the state's leading nonprofits focused on urban planning and economic development have unveiled some suggestions for revitalizing the city's housing stock.

The Akron-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Columbus' Greater Ohio Policy Center on Thursday, Feb. 16, released their Build Akron report.

Based largely on interviews with local residential developers, all of whom have been active in and around Akron, the report is meant to follow up on the city's own Planning to Grow Akron report that came out earlier this month, said Torey Hollingsworth, manager of research and policy for GOPC.

"I think the city has indicated, through their own report release and broader conversations, that they're really interested in tackling this issue," she said. "And I think there are a lot of doable concrete things that can be done to spur more conversations about what will work in Akron."

The Build Akron report draws on strategies that have worked in other cities in Ohio and the Midwest. That includes Cleveland, where strategies to convert office buildings to downtown residences have worked well — and could be duplicated in Akron to rebuild the downtown rental market, the Build Akron report finds. 

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