Though Adam Thomarios, 31, has bounced from place to place his whole life from Ohio, Florida and even Australia for a short time, he still considers Akron home.
As Vice President of Thomario’s, the family construction company that has been in business for 62 years, Adam is not only a resident of Downtown, but has witnessed and taken part in many of the changes Downtown has experienced.
“I believe Akron is one of the shining spots in Ohio,” Thomario said. “It has sustained the economic downturn and it is definitely moving in the right direction.”
Thomarios is especially impressed by the nightlife in Downtown. He loves stopping for drinks at Bricco, Barley House and the Lockview, and even throws small parties in his apartment at Canal Square where he and his friends can enjoy the Friday night fireworks after the Akron Aeros games.
As far as living Downtown, Thomarios says he enjoys the urban lifestyle and feels like Downtown is its own little neighborhood. He has friends that met in Canal Square and recently got married, and says that he ends up meeting and knowing almost everyone that lives Downtown.
“Living in Canal Square is good both for business and for friendships,” Thomarios says of the young professionals that make up a majority of the residents at Canal Square. “It’s a fun building where everyone knows everyone.”
When Frederick Shortridge returned to Downtown Akron from a trip to San Fransisco, he brought back with him passion; passion that he wants to paint the city with, literally.
Shortridge has been interested in art his whole life, but after the trip his interest grew to a lifelong dedication.
Shortridge has lived in Downtown Akron for almost 11 years at Mayflower Manor. He is the President of the Resident’s Council at the Mayflower, and mediates between the residents and the owner. He enjoys his position in the council and enjoys helping others, but his real love is his art.
He says Downtown is great inspiration for his artwork. He often sits in Lock 3 Park, feeding the birds and working on his art; whether it is his poetry, whittling or painting.
“The park just brings you back to who you are,” Shortridge says of the atmosphere at Lock 3.
As of now Shortridge is networking with local art studios, and is looking to do outdoor artwork. As he is inspired by Downtown and hopes to provide that same inspiration to those who view his work.
When Amy Mulcahy and her husband moved from their loft in Chicago to Downtown Akron two and a half years ago, they knew Northside Lofts would be a perfect fit for them.
“It was an easy transition from Chicago to Northside Lofts,” Mulcahy said. “We had the opportunity to make the loft all our own and it has such a Chicago feel to it.”
With a location convenient to expressways, within walking distance to restaurants like Luigi’s and Vegiterranean, what more could they ask for?
The Mulcahys enjoy Downtown by attending concerts at Lock 3 in the summers, walking on the towpath and participating in the Junior League of Akron. An employee of First Energy, the commute to work for Amy is a convenient one as well.
As recent additions to Downtown, Amy said her and her husband are looking forward to exploring more of what Akron has to offer.
An Alumni of Kent State University, Kris Owen was drawn to Downtown Akron when she was hired by National City Bank as a financial advisor. Finding an apartment in Canal Square, Kris moved to Downtown Akron a little over a year ago.
“I think that when you move to a new place, you need to be excited about where you’re living.” Kris said. And with that attitude, Kris became a part of the community, taking in everything around her.
She is a member of the Young Professionals of Akron, she frequents the Akron Art Museum, Musica, and from her apartment she can see Aeros games and their Friday night fireworks. She loves the atmosphere during the holidays, with the lights at the library and ice skating at Lock 3. She frequents Downtown restaurants Luigi’s, Bricco, Crave and Mocha Maiden, and is a big advocate of the Rubber City Roller Derby.
Kris says the benefits of living Downtown are immense; it is central to all of Akron with access to I-77 and Route 8, everything in Downtown is within walking distance, and as a young professional is a great start up city with an affordable cost of living. “It is a wonderful Midwestern city,” she said.
Kris is happy to call Downtown Akron her home, and is looking forward to having more residents Downtown with the completion of the construction projects at 22 Exchange and in the Northside District.
Lauren and Jakob Ward are enjoying the luxuries of Downtown life, and have formed a small community of their own. With an apartment above Big City Chophouse, a recent addition to their family - baby Charlotte, and Lauren’s clothing boutique Noto just across Maiden Lane, the Ward’s have settled in and made Downtown Akron their home.
“It’s the perfect location for up and coming professionals. Living expenses are affordable and the restaurants, festivals and events Downtown provide great entertainment. These things are what attracted us both to Downtown,” Jakob said.
The Wards love riding their bikes on the towpath, having drinks at the Uncorked Wine Bar, enjoying live bands at Musica, getting coffee at Mocha Maiden and dining out at Crave; all of these activities just mere steps from their apartment.
They have formed a close-knit community with their neighbors and fellow business owners in Downtown’s Historic District. Lauren explained the tight-knit relationship she has with the other businesses.
“Everyone looks out for each other, we do a lot of cross-marketing.” she said. “It’s like our own small community within Downtown.”
In just a few short years the Wards have seen and been a part of many changes Downtown that have brought life to the city, and have a front row seat for even more. “We are excited to see what the future will bring to Downtown Akron.”