University Park Alliance (UPA) on Oct. 17 announced the signing of a master services agreement with real estate developer KUD International LLC. to tackle the redevelopment of a good chunk of Akron, Ohio.
UPA is coordinating Akron’s core city master plan centered on the redevelopment and revitalization of University Park, the 50-block urban neighborhood surrounding The University of Akron.
Under the agreement, KUD International will develop a portion of the projects outlined in UPA’s core vision for revitalizing Akron. It also will use its financial strength and global resources to help other developers secure financing and reduce risk, which will accelerate additional redevelopment.
The UPA redevelopment covers a key area around The University of Akron, and includes urban neighborhoods and business districts. Individual projects are expected to move forward in the coming months, now that the relationship with KUD International is in place.
“KUD brings a sterling reputation and international expertise, and will accelerate UPA’s efforts to complete its strategic vision for Akron’s core,” UPA executive director Eric Anthony Johnson said.
Akron public officials and other local leaders on Oct. 19 will formally welcome KUD to the Akron community. The welcoming event/press conference will begin at 11 a.m. at UPA’s offices, located in the Andrew Jackson House, 277 E. Mill St., in Akron.
Last March, Johnson and Stan Eckstut, an architect with EE&K Architects of New York, announced a core vision for Akron that involves redevelopment around The University of Akron, the city’s three main hospital systems, three key streets and three urban neighborhoods.
“Eric Johnson and the Board at University Park Alliance have put together a world-class team that any city in America would love to have working on its homes, businesses and community assets,” Akron mayor Don Plusquellic said. “Today’s announcement speaks to the talent and vision we have in Akron. Our community is able to attract KUD because of our collective desire to work together to improve our future.”
Johnson said Akron is now poised for a period of dramatic investment and redevelopment.
“Many cities create strategic plans that outline a vision,” Johnson said. “But they often fall short when trying to implement that vision. The UPA team consisting of EE&K, which helped develop Battery Park in New York City, and now KUD will help ensure that our core vision becomes a reality. It is exciting to be part of a team that will help energize Akron as a vibrant community with a growing university and dynamic city core.”
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