Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Updates from All Over Akron

The ABJ carries three pieces today updating stories previously featured here on the Pages. First, the proposed new downtown parking garage that caused the Federal judges such consternation has been redesigned to cross Dart. Ave.

    The five-level addition will be constructed across Dart Avenue with a tunnel added for the thoroughfare to continue between Main and Market streets.

    * * *

    The new addition would be farther from the federal building than the existing Superblock garage, located behind the Akron Centre complex on South Main Street. The expansion would run west across Dart Avenue.

    The judges have signed off on the revised plan.

    ''They are not opposed to what we are doing over there,'' said James Weber, a construction division manager for the city.

    Construction is to begin in March and take about 14 months. Dart will be closed during con
    struction, reopening when the project is complete.

Also finalized are plans for Portage Path Elementary. Portage Path became a point of particular contention in Akron Public's construction plans when earlier iterations had the school taking up space currently occupied by the Highland Theater.

Finally, a sidebar buried next to the reefer of the parking deck story (not the more logically connected Portage Path story) we learn:
    Akron has contacted grocers across the country about a long-promised grocery store for the Highland Square area and now has a ''good prospect,'' Adele Dorfner Roth, an economist for the city, said Monday.

    ''It's about getting the right thing to work there,'' said Roth, who gave the Akron City Council's planning committee an update on the project. ''We don't want to just throw something together.''

    Council members, who have been deluged by e-mail from residents frustrated by the empty corner at North Portage Path and West Market Street, asked Roth to provide a list of the grocers the city has talked to and why they rejected the prospect.

And here is my favorite part:
    Council members asked Roth to find a way to better communicate with residents about the progress of the search.
Good luck with that.