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Akron partnering with Aeros for year-round restaurant

10/24/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

Akron Aeros owner Ken Babby announced Oct. 21 to Akron City Council the Aeros plan to open a new restaurant at Canal Park by next March. The yet-to-be-named eatery will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and weekend brunch year-round.

The restaurant will be located on the corner of South Main and State streets and feature patio seating, as well as a second-level climate-controlled terrace club for season ticket holders.

City Council gave its unanimous approval to an additional $2.25 million in funding on the Canal Park financing, which will be loaned toward the improvements necessary for the restaurant. Finance Director Diane Miller Dawson noted the terms of the loan require it to be repaid by the Aeros organization with interest in 10 years.

In other business, Council held a public hearing on a conditional-use request for the proposed redevelopment of 243 N. Furnace St. Keeven White petitioned the city for the conditional use to establish a mixed-use development in two phases, the first of which would be for his WhiteSpace Creative agency, which anticipates adding employees.

“It’s a great structure, and it needs somebody to kind of bring it back to life,” he said at Council’s Planning Committee meeting.

The building recently was approved as a historically significant area by Council.

The second phase of the development, involving an attached six-story warehouse, is more conceptual but might include urban loft-style apartments, an art gallery with printmaking facilities, additional offices for WhitepSpace and possibly community greenspace.

“It all sounds fantastic,” said Planning Committee Chairman Jeff Fusco (D-at large). “What a great reuse of the existing structure. … I wish you nothing but good luck.”

Council unanimously approved the conditional use.

In other legislative action, Council approved:

  • accepting a $1.25 million COPS Hiring Program award, a grant administered through the U.S. Department of Justice, which would fund the hiring of 10 new police officers. The grant would fund the officers’ employment for three years, and the city would be required to provide a 25 percent match to employ the officers for an additional year. The award is similar to a grant received last year to hire officers with military service backgrounds, but that is not a requirement of the 2013 grant;
  • an agreement providing $25,000 in funding for The University of Akron School of Law’s expungement program, which helps some Akron residents seal their criminal records, if they are eligible; and
  • the 2014 Consolidated Action Plan, which allocates funding the city receives through the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership Program and Emergency Solutions Grant Program, a total of about $6 million this year. At a public hearing at the Planning Committee meeting, representatives of InfoLine, Mature Services and the Akron Urban League spoke on the importance of the funding to their organizations.

During the public comment period, Council heard from Gus Foster, coordinator of the Elmhill Estates Neighborhood Watch, regarding flooding and sewer backup concerns in his West Akron neighborhood, which residents say have been ongoing for decades but resurfaced after a severe storm with heavy rainfall July 10. Numerous residents of Jefferson Avenue and neighboring streets expressed their fears and frustrations about flooding and sewage at a City Council meeting following the storm.

Foster said a panel discussion on the subject would be held the following evening, and he expressed disappointment that many city officials declined to take part, he said. He said there have been several meetings since the July 10 storm with little result.

The next Akron City Council meeting will take place Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 S. High St. in Downtown Akron. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council Chambers.

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