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New Report Shows Which Akron Neighborhoods Are Ready -- Or Nearly Ready -- For New Housing

photo of Highland Square
The new report says places like Highland Square are already attracting development, while neighborhoods like North Hill are on the verge of being more attractive to housing developers.

A new report says parts of Akron are ripe for new housing, while other neighborhoods could be hot spots if they get some new investment.

The study from the Greater Ohio Policy Center is titled “Build In Akron,” and it looks at all 24 of the city’s neighborhoods with regard to boosting population and housing values.

Highland Square and Downtown Akron are among the areas that are already seeing an influx of housing activity. North Hill and West Hill, however, are not as far along, and would benefit from a single mixed-use project to re-energize the market, according to Torey Hollingsworth of the policy center.

“Those are places where there’s enough energy and vitality -- and they’re close to some other important corridors or places that already have a lot of traffic or activity -- where some sort of big investment or mixed-use development might be enough to re-boost the market and get things going again.”

Hollingsworth says one of the recommendations in the report is to make it easier for people to fix up properties with low appraisals.

“In Detroit, a group of non-profit lenders and philanthropists have put together a product that allows people to get a mortgage for the entire cost of the purchase and the rehab, which is helping to bring some new energy into the market and rebuild some of those housing values.”

The report also says such neighborhoods would benefit from tax abatements, such as the ones being launched this summer in Akron for new construction and major improvements to existing homes.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.