May 25 community forum and kickoff planned at the Rialto Theatre
— Akron’s Kenmore neighborhood will undergo a two-day transformation Sept. 1 and 2 as it hosts Better Block, a neighborhood engagement effort in which residents will reshape and reactivate their community’s built environment.
Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance will host a kickoff meeting May 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre at 1000 Kenmore Boulevard. Residents, business and property owners and other stakeholders are invited to share their ideas for the business district.
More info about the kickoff event is available at www.facebook.com/AkronBetterBlock.
Kenmore’s Better Block coincides with the city of Akron’s intentions to develop a comprehensive plan for each of its 24 neighborhoods. In the case of Kenmore, it could include new zoning to encourage mixed-use development, a historic designation and urban design that “protects the integrity of the business district,” according to Planning Director Jason Segedy.
“The Better Block will be a great way to help engage people on some of these efforts, and will undoubtedly spark ideas that we can incorporate into our planning work,” Segedy said.
Kenmore’s will be the third Better Block event held in Akron in as many years. The hope of its leaders is to reimagine Akron’s largest neighborhood business district as a welcoming and vibrant area for residents and visitors.
“Our business district was once home to theaters, coffee shops, ice cream and soda fountains, clubs and a wide variety of small businesses frequented by folks from both the local neighborhood and the greater Akron community,” Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance President David Hoppe explained. “It can be that place again, and Better Block will allow our residents to test their ideas.”
Moderating the May 25 discussion will be Jason Roberts, the founder and CEO of Better Block Foundation, a nonprofit formed to create “complete streets” and to educate, equip and empower communities and their leaders to create healthy, vibrant neighborhoods.
“Better Block Foundation is excited to be back in Akron for a project in the Kenmore neighborhood,” Roberts said. “We have had great success with previous projects in the area, such as Cuyahoga Falls, Middlebury and North Hill, and are excited to build upon that momentum. The projects have been successful because there has always been great community support, and we cannot wait to see what ideas the Kenmore community brings.”
Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance is seeking sponsors for the Better Block event. Sponsorship opportunities range from $100 to an exclusive $10,000 Event Sponsor. For more information, contact Kathy Hoppe, sponsorship chair, at KNAcares@gmail.com.
Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance is a 501(c)(3) public charity, the mission of which is to enhance the Kenmore community by reaching out to all residents to engage them in cultural, artistic, recreational and business revitalization. It does so through programming and collaboration with Kenmore residents and existing community groups. To learn more about Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance or to make a tax-deductible contribution toward Kenmore Better Block, visit www.knacares.org.