Downtown Akron will be busy this weekend as they host their annual Rib, White and Blue Festival, but there’s a lot more cooking in Akron than just what’s on the grill.
Akron has been the center of redevelopment talks this year, similar to the process of putting together a recipe for a great meal.
So, let’s breakdown ‘what’s cooking in Akron.’
Let’s start with the main dish at the rib festival: ribs. That translates to one of the ‘meatiest’ projects in the city: The Bowery Project, a $38 million makeover of 6 historic buildings. It’s a makeover of the city’s iconic Landmark building and five other buildings near the Akron Civic Theater that could include a grocery store.
“That would be great. I love that idea because I live at the Depot and can walk down to get my groceries,” said Kevin Bory, a senior at the University of Akron.
When it comes to a side dish, it’s simple to see how the reopening of Akron's City Center will compliment the city’s focus to attract more residents to downtown Akron. It will bring 80 hotel rooms and about 100 apartments to the 19-story hotel.
Shaking up some fresh-squeezed lemonade fits alongside the city’s plan to remove the underused Innerbelt (SR 59), which also “shakes” things up with the way drivers get around the city. The plans to remove the highway is in the works, with an artist’s plan to build a temporary forest. Future development plans for the more than 30-acres that will become available are still being discussed and may include green space for residents.
If you’re at the rib festival in Akron, you can’t leave with without grabbing an elephant ear.
Although there are no redevelopment plans that include elephant ears, there are plans to plans to incorporate a tiger.
No, no that kind of tiger. It’s a $5 million Tiger grant to make repairs to Main Street and sidewalks, and add dedicated bike lanes to get people moving in and around downtown Akron.
The rib festival may last through the weekend, but it looks like a busy few years are ahead in hopes of creating a thriving city.