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Akron makes MSN Real Estate’s list of top 5 real estate markets — want to know why?

The news site MSN Real Estate just cited Akron, Ohio, as one of the five “most promising” real estate markets in the nation, defined by those markets expected to suffer the smallest slides.  The forecasting firm Local Market Monitor made the picks.

The MSN report notes that Akron’s average home price of $148,508 fell by 4% in the last year, and that the local market should hit bottom this year followed by a modest 2% gain in 2013.  “Jobs — especially manufacturing jobs — are coming back to Akron,’’ the report said.  “Like many Midwest cities, there was no housing boom here to speak of. Values are down just 13% from the peak, about a third of the hit the U.S. as a whole suffered.”

On its face, the fact that Akron’s real estate market is to drop less than most others across the country may seem nothing to feel good about. A city doesn’t grow with soft real estate market. But if you look beneath the surface, there is reason for those of us in Akron to see opportunity ahead. The ranking also is affirmation of our economic recovery as we separate ourselves from the pack of traditional manufacturing cities stuck in the doldrums.

As the Harvard urban economist Ed Glaeser points out in his book Triumph of the City, not every once prosperous city can be restored to economic strength.  But some cities can be saved.

The issue for cities today is who can and who cannot produce goods locally and sell them globally.

In Akron, we are maintaining and building a job base in traditional industries while creating new-economy jobs through the development of a vibrant medical industry.

On the traditional side, we’ve added jobs as a result in the uptick in the auto industry, plus we have Goodyear, Bridgestone Americas and nearby Diebold all building new corporate facilities here with a combined capital investment of $360 million.

On the new economy side, the business and university leaders in Akron have come together around a plan, primarily funded by the Knight Foundation, to leverage the economic synergy of our four major anchor institutions  — The University of Akron, Summa Health System, Akron General Health System and Akron Children’s Hospital — to build a competitive city with a diverse economy. Seeing this potential, KUD International is now the project manager and major financial backer of the redevelopment of University Park — the 50-block are surrounding The University of Akron and bordering Akron’s three major hospitals. That signals hundreds of millions in capital investment beginning in 2012 and continuing through this decade.

Rather than coincidence, Akron’s ranking among MSN Real Estate’s Top 5 cities is a result of years of planning and proactive leadership in this city, which then led to new investment in the local economy.

University Park Alliance is particularly focused on revitalizing real estate in a 50-block area around the university.  It is an area of great opportunity.   Call us at 330-777-2070 if you are interested in learning more.



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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 4:44 pm and is filed under Collaboration, Education, Leadership, University Park Alliance, UP Akron. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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