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Akron, OH 44308
DEVELOPMENT DESCRIPTION: A $15 million development plan that in the first of two phases would rehabilitate six historic properties on South Main Street is in the works by Main Street Partners LLC to bring a mixed-use project that will neighbor the Akron Civic Theatre. The new development will add new retail and entertainment venues to this part of South Main Street.
The properties between the Akron Civic Theatre and the Landmark Building include the venerable Whitelaw's building, which dates to 1895 and was continuously operated as a saloon for more than 100 years. The developers' vision for an urban retail and entertainment center utilizes the rejuvenated Civic Theatre as an anchor. It is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The City demolished the parking garage on Bowery Street adjacent to the Landmark building, opening up a portion of the Ohio & Erie Canal for the first time in more than a century. Main Street Partners proposes using the lower levels of the rehabilitated buildings as walk-out areas at the canal level to serve customers at restaurants and clubs.
Under the agreement with Main Street Partners, the developers also have the right to construct a second phase of the project by purchasing the Landmark Building from the City, which would be then converted into 44 additional market-rate apartments.
The City continues to develop a master plan for the remaining areas of the block around Lock 3, bounded by Main, Bowery and State streets. The City completed the $1 million construction of an outdoor park at Lock 3 in 2003, which in the summer includes a concert pavilion and in the winter doubles as an ice rink.