Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Milling about in Akron

According to Ohiodotcom posted today the University of Akron may be buying Quaker Square. I'm trying to figure out how this makes sense. But since the decision is being made in the context of a $50-120 million football stadium, making sense may be too much to ask.

Here's what the paper says:

    University of Akron trustees may take two steps at their meeting on Wednesday to help pave the way for a long-awaited stadium.

    One would be to purchase Quaker Square, including the Crowne Plaza hotel and meeting complex, on the north edge of campus.
* * *
    Acquisition of the hotel, shops and surrounding land would open up more coveted parking spaces for UA students and would allow the university to put its hand on hotel rooms that could be transformed into residence halls.

    Those rooms would take the place of four residence halls that would be lost to the wrecking ball north of East Exchange and east of Brown streets, where the stadium would be built.
Buying Quaker Square for the parking? No, just not feeling it.

Meanwhile, a second breaking Ohiodotcom story outlines plans to create a historical park at the site of Ferdinand Shumaker's Cascade Mills -- F. Shumaker also being the guy who built the mills that became Quaker Square. Whether these two stories have anything to do with one another or just an odd, mill-based coincidence is not clear. Once the stories are edited for print, things may gel.


Anonymous said...

In spite of the new dorm project on Exchange, UAKRON is desperately short of dorm space and housing. The housing shortage would get even worse if more student housing is leveled to make
way for the stadium.

Generally I'm not a big fan of stadium projects but the Rubber Bowl is decrepit as is some of the housing that would be taken by the university. If managed
properly these projects can be a real plus, but expect
lots of whining and complaining from all quarters.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there isn't a relationship between the Quaker Square project and the Cascade Mills project. The success of early Akron depended a great deal on the milling businesses, the most prominent being Ferdinand Schumacher's milling company and he ended up owning most of the milling properties in the city. The Cascade Project has been in the works far longer than the Quaker project and is based in boosting redevelopment of the Howard St. area and the Towpath Trail Extension.