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Akron Council OKs new development projects

11/22/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Akron City Council stamped its approval on several new development projects in the city Nov. 19.

Following public hearings, Council unanimously approved three conditional-use permits. The first was for a transmission control facility for Ohio Edison, which will be constructed on the north side of Mull Avenue, east of White Pond Drive.

The $35 million project will involve construction of a building designed to withstand tornadic winds of up to 200 mph and to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year no matter the conditions, according to project officials. It will house electrical control transmission for Northeast Ohio and the eastern United States.

Approximately 150 high-tech jobs are expected to be brought to Akron as a result of this addition to FirstEnergy’s West Akron campus, said Planning Committee Chairman Jeff Fusco (D-at large).

There will be additional parking constructed, and a new drive and entry way, with a new traffic light, will be constructed off of Mull Avenue.

Also following public hearings, two pieces of legislation related to planned multi-use development near The University of Akron were unanimously approved.

The University Square Urban Renewal Area was amended to include an area bounded by East Exchange, Torrey, Allyn and Sumner streets. The area was declared blighted to make way for new development, which will include retail, parking and student housing.

Also at the meeting, Council approved a measure to vacate a portion of Locust Street, Pine Street, Pine Alley and West Buchtel Avenue in Ward 3 in the area of Akron Children’s Hospital. According to Fusco, the relatively routine move will make way for approximately $200 million in development projects related to a major expansion of the hospital.

In other legislative action, Council approved:

• a reuse plan and accepted the deed for 800 Dan Street, a Navy Marine Corps Reserve Center no longer needed by the federal government that will be utilized by the city as a police training facility;

• legislation authorizing $41,747 in assessments for a $1.88 million resurfacing project on Copley Road between Interstate 77 and the Medina County line;

• legislation authorizing the collection of $84,694 in assessments for the projects already completed under the city’s 2012 City-Wide Sidewalk Program, total cost for which was $224,911;

• $140,000 in tree trimming services; and

• $25,273 to purchase new ambulance cots.

The next Akron City Council meeting will take place Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, located at 166 S. High St. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council Chambers.

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