The neighborhood development group University Park Alliance has been awarded nearly $8 million to continue building Akron’s urban core. University Park Alliance is a non-profit community development corporation dedicated to the importance of ‘place-making’.
We envision University Park as an exciting opportunity to return to a traditional urban neighborhood where interesting people live, great ideas thrive and community is key. And we see a clear path for getting there. Our strategy is to capitalize on the economic synergy of the great institutions already anchored throughout this geography—including a major university, three excellent hospitals, a bio-tech institute, three brand new schools—and develop a dense, walkable neighborhood with diverse cultural offerings, great healthcare, quality education and plenty of recreational and leisure opportunities. In essence, our mission is to build a ‘sense of place’ between these strong anchors. To do so, University Park Alliance has created a redevelopment Master Plan and is implementing a five-year Strategic Plan that focuses our efforts around four programmatic areas: Real Estate Development, Economic Development, Social and Human Capital Development, and Community/Civic Engagement Development.
On December 18, 2012, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced it was awarding UPA a $6 million grant over five years to work with neighborhood residents, local businesses and city institutions.
The foundation is also giving UPA a $1.8 million low-interest loan, which will support the redevelopment of the area called University Square. Officials call it “a linchpin of the alliance’s master plan that will provide housing and shopping for both students and residents.”
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