EANDC grew out of community organizing efforts that began in East Akron during the 1970s. The goal was to improve access to safe and affordable housing , and we are still working in that tradition today through the strategic redevelopment of properties in East Akron, and through our work addressing the problem of vacant land in the neighborhood.

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Improving Neighborhoods

There are over 500 lots in East Akron that are vacant because of the foreclosure crisis. Many of them are eyesores that drag down property values, encouraging trash dumping and attracting crime.

In 2013, EANDC hired the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) to assist with the creation of the East Akron Neighborhood Revitalization Plan (EANRP), which promotes reuse of vacant lots and encourages the transformation of those lots into neighborhood assets. The CUDC is nationally known for creative approaches and best practices related to vacant land reuse and neighborhood revitalization.

Since then, we have transformed vacant lots into pocket parks, gardens and neighborhood pedestrian paths. We continue to work with community members to identify opportunities to repurpose more vacant land.

We also focus on housing development; we recently developed 30 single-family homes on former vacant lots in the area around Robinson Community Learning Center.

For information on vacant land reuse initiatives or EANDC’s development initiatives in East Akron, please contact Kyle Julien, Director of Urban Planning at (330) 773-6838 or via email at kjulien@eandc.org.

Creating Communities

EANDC works closely with the residents and stakeholders of East Akron to strengthen the community. We are particularly focused on the historic area of East Akron between I-76 and Archwood Avenue, as well as Inman Street and Kelly Avenue.

In 2004, EANDC transformed a brownfield site at the corner of Exchange and Arlington into Middlebury Marketplace, bringing a full-service Dave’s Supermarket to an urban area that had lacked access to fresh produce. Middlebury Marketplace includes several neighborhood amenities, including a clinic operated by Akron Children’s Hospital. More than 160 jobs have been created through this single development.

We hold monthly community meetings that provide residents with opportunities to air concerns, share input on plans for neighborhood improvement and connect with their neighbors. Click here to view scheduled meetings.

We also coordinate smaller working groups that meet regularly to plan neighborhood events and activities, build neighborhood pride, foster connections between businesses and residents, create partnerships with neighborhood stakeholders and identify priority areas for beautification as part of revitalization planning.

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