As development picks up in Highland Square, residents learned about the state of new business and construction projects, along with available opportunities last week at the Highland Square branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. The Akron Ward 1 meeting, run by councilman Rich Swirsky, was open to the public and well attended.
Adele Dorfner Roth, the deputy planning director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, addressed questions from the audience about the various construction projects in Highland Square and the future state of businesses in the area, which will soon have storefronts available.
She addressed worries such as how traffic will be affected from the new Mustard Seed Market and what businesses will be moving in to Highland Square. Roth asked that Ward 1 residents share their ideas of what kinds of businesses would be good for the neighborhood.
Patrick Bravo, of the recently created Summit County Land Bank, offered an informal presentation about the organization. The nonprofit Land Bank is the county’s agent and deals with abandoned properties. Bravo answered questions from the audience about the organization and its methods, including how buildings are identified and how they are demolished.
Chris Faircloth, of the Economic and Community Development Institute, also came to speak at the meeting to briefly discuss his organization. ECDI helps people start up new businesses and gives loans to those who might find it difficult to get one from the bank, such as first-time business owners.