News & Events

By: Dan Shingler
Crain’s Cleveland Business

Greater Akron’s office market was a ‘mixed bag’ in 2020

Top-tier buildings tend to do best, which they say is likely why sites such as GOJO Plaza have remained full. GOJO Plaza had little trouble replacing a law firm that vacated 20,000 square feet in 2020, leasing the space to the Akron arm of the law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith and to the hardware wholesaler Banner Solutions for its headquarters. Williams said the two tenants wanted smaller spaces than the company initially offered for lease.

Don Taylor, CEO of the Welty Building Co., said his company has been able to keep its Fairlawn headquarters 100% occupied. Welty leases out much of that building. Although there has been some tenant shuffling of late, Taylor said he has been able to replace any lost leases.

“We’re full. The building’s completely leased. We had a couple of tenants move out, but we had new ones move in,” Taylor said.

In 2020, the accounting firm Bober Markey Federovich took about 17,000 square feet in the 62,000-square-foot building, while Huntington Bank took another 7,500 square feet, Taylor said.

He cited similar success on White Pond Drive in Akron, he said, where Stark State College created a vacancy in the Harmony Point Building, but the Hondros College of Nursing snatched it up.

Other office spaces, at the Harmony Point Building and in Welty’s big Bowery Project downtown, have seen less activity, so 2020 was a “mixed bag” overall, Taylor said.

“On the first floor (of Harmony Point), we had the Census Bureau, but they’ve since moved out and we’ve not seen a whole lot of activity there. And at Bowery we’ve got nothing,” Taylor said.

But at Bowery, its 4,000 square feet of space is a tiny portion of the six-building project, which also includes 92 apartments that Taylor said have been leasing well, and 40,000 square feet of retail space that has not. Residential leasing has gone well, and Taylor said he hopes the rest of the project will gain traction once COVID lifts.

“I think the space there is less interesting as office and more interesting as bars, restaurants and hospitality,” Taylor said of the Bowery District.

Looking forward, real estate experts expect a busy year in 2021. There will be more shuffling, but activity is already picking up, said Colliers vice president Lorin Schultz.

“As soon as the vaccines started rolling out, I noticed a huge increase in activity,” Schultz said.

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By: Dan Shingler
Crain’s Cleveland Business

AKRON’S DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT WEATHERS COVID AND ROAD CONSTRUCTION

Things are progressing on Main Street in downtown Akron — and not just on the street itself, which has been undergoing a major redesign this year.

Developers of the $42 million, seven-building Bowery District next to the Akron Civic Theatre and the $30 million Law Building renovation across the street — two landmark projects downtown — both report they’re on schedule to open later this year.

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Bowery District Canal Side
By: Mary Vanac
Cleveland Business Journal

GREATER CLEVELAND PARTNERSHIP-BACKED PROJECT BEGINS LEASING RETAIL, OFFICE SPACE

A live-work-play project in downtown Akron in which the Greater Cleveland Partnership has invested has started leasing 40,000 square feet of retail and office space, some of which faces the Ohio and Erie Canal.

The project marks the first time the GCP has invested in a project outside Cleveland and Cuyahoga County and it could deliver $245 million in economic impact and more than 2,000 jobs.

“The Bowery project is indeed catalytic and will be the keystone project for all future downtown Akron development,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, in a statement.

Started in November 2018, the $42 million Bowery District project redeveloped, restored and rehabilitated six historic — and long vacant — buildings on South Main Street as a mixed-use residential, retail and office complex.

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window view from apartment

There’s never a good time for a pandemic, but as far as Akron’s concerned, now is probably the best time in terms of its impact on the city’s redevelopment plans.

As long as things return to normal as planned and attitudes toward urban living survive this historic episode, that is. If so, it may even present the city some opportunities.

The COVID-19 crisis has downtown Akron, like a lot of city centers, virtually shuttered. But at least the shutdown is occurring when the core of the city was already hobbled by a massive construction project on Main Street, said the builder spearheading downtown’s $42 million Bowery Project, which now sits behind orange barrels on Main Street.

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window view from apartment

Downtown Akron’s hoped-for renewal is moving and unpacking.

The Landmark Building, part of the $42 million Bowery Project along South Main Street, has its first live-in tenants.

Theresa Bembnister and Constantine Zuev are among the first wave of professionals living in new apartments built in the core of the city, adding to what officials will hope will be an ongoing revitalization of Akron.  The officials anticipate that the Bowery and other nearby projects will spur further interest in downtown as a place for people to live, work and play.

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By: Afi Scruggs and Gabriel Kramer
Ideastream.org
Posted September 19, 2019

“Developers working Downtown Akron’s Bowery Project expect residents will be able to move into apartments in the renovated bank building starting Oct. 1.

It’s the first phase of a mixed-use project expected to add jobs in construction, legal services and retail…”

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Posted Nov 28, 2019 at 7:31 PM

“The Bowery redevelopment project intended to revitalize a prominent part of downtown Akron made it to the Thanksgiving finish line — with some pieces not quite over that line just yet.

Most of the six downtown buildings have met their major construction deadlines…”

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Media Contact:
Welty/Bowery Development Group
Nikki DiFilippo
Via Vera Group
(216) 780-0472
nikki@viaveragroup.com

Welty Building Company Releases Bowery Project Economic Impact Report: $245 Million and more than 2,000 Jobs in Summit County over 20 years

September 19, 2019Akron, OH – Welty Building Company, the City of Akron, and the Bowery Development Group announced today the exciting results of the Economic Impact Report for the Bowery Project. The Bowery will generate $245 million in economic impact and more than 2,000 jobs in Summit County over 20 years, with $44 million and 400 jobs created during the first five years…”

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“When Don Taylor, head of Welty Building Co., envisions the late fall completion of the $42 million Bowery redevelopment in downtown Akron, he’s not quite sure which metaphor he should use.

It will be like going from watching black-and-white TV to color, he said, or seeing a caterpillar that has turned into a butterfly.”

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