There is no shortage of ideas about what to do with the land opened up by the removal of part of Akron's Innerbelt. An event held this weekend at Kent State University helped to work through some of those ideas.

A design charette, defined by Merriam-Webster as "the intense final effort made by architectural students to complete their solutions to a given architectural problem in an allotted time or the period in which such an effort is made," drew architects, designers, and community stakeholders to work on concepts for the soon vacant plot of land. Architect Craig Thompson said he hopes to have similar gatherings in Akron neighborhoods soon to gauge how the community wants the land used.

Thompson joined Jasen to discuss what the charette participants came up with.

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After nearly 30 years, the Innerbelt is no more, and there have been questions about what will be done with all of that land. Those questions are being addressed by community leaders as far as long-term planning.

One of those community leaders is mayor Dan Horrigan, who joined the Ray Horner Morning Show in studio. Horrigan believes they have a "blank canvas" to change the physical landscape of downtown Akron. Having all of that land “fall into [their] laps” is “a once in a generation thing,” so the city is taking their time to develop plans.

As far as what will be done, the mayor says their timetable for those said plans should be by the end of the calendar year.

In addition to the Innerbelt, Horrigan also discussed how the University of Akron has turned around in the last year with university president Matthew Wilson, as well as the future of Davenport Park in Ellet.

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It's already a busy week in Akron, as workers began demolition Monday of a portion of the Akron Innerbelt. The work means the intersection of MLK, N. Main, and Howard will be closed for six months. This means visitors to the Northside will have to detour to Summit St. and Furnace St. to access businesses like Luigi's and Jilly's Music Room.

At City Hall, city leaders unveiled their long-term housing plan. The key provision of the plan calls for a tax abatement for home construction.

Akron Planning Director Jason Segedy joined Jasen to address both projects and what they mean for Akronites.

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Stark State College has been looking for a campus in Akron city limits, and the plans were announced on Thursday by Dr. Para Jones. The campus will be located on E. Market Street, right off Route 8, adjacent to the soon-to-be expanded Summa Health complex.

Mayor Dan Horrigan is intrigued about what Stark State can bring to the area, and he discussed his excitement in studio on the Ray Horner Morning Show. Horrigan believes this will benefit the city greatly, especially with Millennial retention, which has been a focus in recent years. On the announcement, the mayor believed Thursday was “a very exciting day for the city."

The planned start date for the college is fall of 2018.

Horrigan also gave an update on the future of the Innerbelt, and what the vision is for the land long-term.

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The vision for the Innerbelt was to free up the traffic on the downtown expressways, and to add commercial real estate around the stretch of freeway. However, none of this came to plan, and in the near future, the road will be torn up.

What will be done with the Innerbelt? Jerry Fiume, a developer in Akron and part of NAI Cummins, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to give his thoughts on the future of the freeway. Fiume mentioned how it’s not often a city gets 30 acres of land freed up so easily, and shared his feelings on what should be done with the land. Some believe it should become a park, complete with biking trails, while others think the land should be developed into commercial real estate.

Published in WAKR RAY HORNER