Downtown Market Strategy

Akron, Ohio

To capitalize on shifting economic trends and renewed interest in downtowns throughout the country, the City of Akron sought to develop a market-based Downtown Master Plan as a means of improving regional competitiveness and quality of life. Development Strategies was commissioned to provide market analysis and strategy as well as a district framework for targeted and catalytic investment. These strategies then provided a foundation for a broader Downtown planning effort that was led by MKSK.

Our Approach

Development Strategies analyzed the existing supply of housing in and around Downtown and identified missing development products in the region. Key components to the demand analysis evaluated consumer demographics to identify clusters of households in the region with strong preferences for urban living and regional and national migration patterns to quantify a key downtown market segments.

The market strategy for Downtown Akron included identification of specific residential and mixed-use development products—townhomes, condos, upscale apartments—to target different consumer groups at varying price points. It also created a district framework that aligned the appropriate uses for hospitality, retail, employment, student population, and entertainment.

In total, the study identified support for roughly 1,500 housing units in Downtown Akron over the next ten years.