As much fun as the retail move by Walmart from Fairlawn to Copley is, I’ve had my eye on a different retail saga that has been going on for quite a while in Akron.
I’m talking about the need and desire for a grocery store to be located at the cross hairs of the map I have below, at the corner of W Market St & N Portage Path in West Akron.
Residents have been clambering for years that there needs to be a grocery store at this location. Some of the urban residents simply need the access. For years, the Albrecht (read ACME Supermarkets) company owned the property and didn’t want to build their own grocery store there- because it would compete with their own Acme store down the street! So, the city of Akron bought the property at the end of 2010. What this means is there is no longer a conflict of interest – with your competitor being your landlord!
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that discussions are starting with various chains. That’s awesome – new developments.
My Clock Tower Connection
In 2006, the Albrecht Company held a competition for local residents to submit design ideas for the location in the form of a clock tower. Because Highland Square is, well, artsy, they were looking for designs that would contrast with that environment- and the theme was math- and the clock tower was supposed to be in binary (single lights on and off that blink every second). My husband Matt Orley submitted a design. As an artist and engineer – he figured he could do well in the contest. Turns out he won, and paid for a patio at our previous home with the prize money! Now it looks like he hastily made out of clay and photoshop, doesn’t matter now I suppose.
Personally, I would like to see his design resurrected and used at this location. There’s a little math behind the design of all of the benches surrounding the tower- a little math education could do well for our city/state/country. Of course, any new lease would not have anything to do with Albrecht who sponsored the contest, but still, we can hope.