Great Streets Akron Adds New District on South Arlington Street!

Jan 03, 2022

From Crain's Cleveland Business:

Akron just got another Great Street. True, the city's South Arlington Street was in place long before Thursday, Dec. 16, but that was the day the city designated it as a target of Akron's Great Streets Initiative.

The effort aims to revive challenged portions of the city with grant funding and support for new business facades and other external improvements, as well as upgrades to a street's neighborhood assets such as parks, murals, signage and other features.

South Arlington will be targeted from 4th Avenue just south of I76, to Maywood Avenue about a half-mile farther south.

"Since the Great Streets Akron program began, we've awarded over $2.6 million in grants to over 125 businesses," Mayor Dan Horrigan said in a news release. "We've also celebrated the opening of 65 new businesses in these districts. Through the Great Streets program, we have been incredibly successful at reinvigorating these commercial districts by partnering with the organizations embedded in these communities. I'm excited to welcome the South Arlington corridor into the program to create more opportunity in this important neighborhood."

South Arlington is the 13th site targeted by Akron's program, which was modeled after similar, successful efforts in other cities.

"Twenty twenty-one has been an impactful year for our Great Streets Initiative, with the addition of a new Neighborhood Business District on South Arlington Street at the top of the list of the most impactful measures we've taken," said Mark Greer, the city's Great Streets Administrator. "We're excited to get to work on this important business corridor as we continue our mission to revitalize communities throughout the city. East Akron is a community rich with tradition and pride, and the opportunity to tangibly impact this area is one we welcome, and don't take lightly."

The city is inviting business owners in the district to apply for a Great Streets Matching Façade Improvement Grant on the Great Streets Akron website. Eligible items for this grant include façade renovation, brick and masonry cleaning, installation of new doors and windows, signage improvements, outdoor lighting, painting, outdoor security cameras, roofing, paving and landscaping of on-site parking areas and architectural fees, the city stated.

Applications can be submitted online or applicants can download and print a pdf application. The application period is rolling and businesses can apply at any time.