Highland Square- Akron’s most urban neighborhood

Like most Akron neighborhoods, Highland Square was built as a early 20th century streetcar suburb with medium density and a mix of SF homes and apartment buildings. Highland Square stands as the most urban Akron neighborhoods due to several decent urban commercial nodes along Market Street and quality walkable retail & cultural amenities. Most Akron commercial corridors are auto centric. Highland  Square is culturally also Akron’s most liberal and urbanite district.

For Highland Square to become a great urban district it needs to work to eliminate its remaining blight, encourage urban in-fill along Market to eliminate more auto centric stretches of the corridor, attract more neighborhood retail, and add more families and park amenities. Given its proximity to Downtown Akron, Highland Square should have much better transit service as well. This is more of a Citywide issue though.
Click here to review my Highland Square album on Flickr
URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Good early 20th century wood frame residential architecture with some mansions concentrated in the NW corner of the district.
* Good sidewalks and ADA infrastructure but most intersections don’t have current ADA curb cuts. Better along Market Street.
* Convenient access to Dwtn Akron but only so  public transit.
* Really nice bike path along the Little Cuyahoga River providing a great commuter path to Dwtn.
* Great racial diversity and economic diversity.
* Great variety of for sale SF housing price points ranging from 25K to 400K depending on size and condition. This is attributable to the mix of blighted and stable housing stock throughout Highland Square.
* Decent cultural amenities including a good array of restaurants, bars, and cafes, a historic movie theater,
* Retail amenities include a supermarket, post office, library, pharmacy and nice array of boutiques and local stores.
* Nice array of public and private schools.
* Great Tree Canopy
URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* No bike share stations in the neighborhood.
* Only 33% Family households but decent adult diversity.
* Decent amount of rental options but all are pretty inexpensive. No luxury apartments in Highland Square.
* Park and recreation space a bit limited. Only a handful of small parks within Highland Square along with several cemeteries. Schneider and Elm Hill Park are medium size but just west of the district’s borders.
* Still some crime issues and a fair amount of blight in Highland Square especially in the southern half of the district.
* Urban commercial district massing is hit or miss including some solid commercial nodes along Market like at Portage Path and some more auto centric areas closer to Dwtn. 

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