Akron's University Park Alliance inks development agreement with Equity Inc.
By STAN BULLARD
Crain’s Cleveland Business
April 12, 2012
University Park Alliance, a nonprofit development corporation in Akron, said it has signed a partnership agreement with Equity Inc. of Columbus for the development firm to build and manage the first two buildings of a planned mixed-use development at East Market and Forge Streets in Akron.
The partners did not put a proposed dollar cost on the two structures, which will be Equity's first Akron project.
University Park Alliance said Equity plans to start construction this spring on a two-story, 25,000-square-foot building that can be expanded later with a third story. It said the structure will house the central offices of Child Guidance & Family Solutions of Akron. University Park Alliance and Equity also propose to build a 75,000-square-foot commercial building by this fall on the site.
The site is part of a five-acre parcel that University Park Alliance owns in Akron's University Park neighborhood. The site will be developed as “Market Square,” a mixed-use project. University Park Alliance said it believes tenants of the commercial building would suit the development of Akron's Biomedical Corridor.
Child Guidance, a Summit County provider of behavioral services to children and family, said separately that it plans to relocate its central office from Locust Street in Akron to the new building.
Elaine Harlin, president of Child Guidance, said the move would strengthen its visibility and improve its environment for serving clients. She said it would sell its existing building to Akron Children's Hospital.
In commenting on the deal with Equity, University Park Alliance executive director Eric Anthony Johnson said in a statement, “The execution of this agreement is important because it sets a tone for the development of this parcel that is in line with UPA's master plan.”
Melanie Wollenberg, executive vice president of development for Equity, said the company believes in University Park Alliance's master plan and redevelopment vision for the 50-block University Park neighborhood bordering downtown and surrounding the University of Akron.
Equity operates seven regional offices and has completed transactions and developments in 36 states in office, retail, mixed-use, health care and other categories.
University Park Alliance is a nonprofit formed by the city of Akron, the University of Akron, the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce and other nonprofits, businesses and residents in the University Park neighborhood.