AKRON, Ohio — Plans continue to go forward for the White Pond housing and retail development in Akron.
This week, the city released an updated plan and development agreement for the 68-acre parcel of land located in the vicinity of Frank Blvd. and White Pond Drive. Pending agreement by Akron City Council, the city will sell the land to Triton Property Ventures.
Triton plans to develop 29 acres of the land into approximately 98 ranch-style houses, 90 townhomes, 40-50 loft-style apartments and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail or commercial space. Akron city leaders expect that work on the project would begin next year and expect it to be completed as early as 2026.
The plan has not come together without controversy. Opponents of the development have expressed concerns about potential environmental and wildlife impacts in the wooded area.
Akron officials say they have addressed those concerns by reducing the total retail space from 60,000 square feet in its earlier plan, to 30,000 feet in its latest agreement with Triton. The two sides have also agreed that there will be no development in the wetlands area of the property.
“As a city, we must embrace investment and progress. Without that, there can be no future growth for Akron,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan in a statement. “The reality is that we have steadily lost residents since the 1960s and with that loss comes the loss of jobs, tax base, potential customers for retailers, and help covering the cost of much needed infrastructure for our city. This development would be one of the most significant housing investments into Akron in recent memory and would meet a need for additional new housing."
PHOTOS: Aerial drone pictures of proposed White Pond development in Akron
The city of Akron also provided data from a traffic review of the area done by Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS). While additional traffic will be added, AMATS says the total traffic will be "well under the pre-pandemic levels (2018-19)" and it "does not anticipate major impacts on the transportation network."
"My team has worked tirelessly over the past months responding to residents’ questions and concerns. We have each had dozens of conversations and listened to hours of public comment. We have addressed questions about the environment, traffic, and the need for this type of residential development. I am more certain than ever, that this is the right choice for all Akronites, and that is who I was elected to represent," Horrigan added.
Akron City Council could vote on the White Pond Development as soon as Monday during its next meeting.