- Alex Kolesar
Pros and cons of living in Akron Ohio
Why on earth would anyone choose to move to Akron Ohio?!
If you are considering relocating to Akron Ohio in the near future, make sure you read this article first! After all, you want to know what you’re getting yourself into, right? Akron Ohio is Ohio's 5th biggest city and after reading this article, you'll discover the top 3 pros and the top 3 cons of living in Akron, and hopefully answer any burning questions that you may have.
Pro #1 - Downtown Akron is slowly being revitalized
Back in the 1900's when Akron was capitalized as the rubber capital of the world, things were great! Money was flowing in and out of the economy like crazy. Unfortunately, In the 1970's, things took a down turn when all of the manufacturing jobs left the city. For a lack of a better terms, Akron went into a slump and became a town that people didn't move too. Over the recent years, the city has under gone some major renovations. Millions of dollars are being pumped into downtown Akron by private and institutional investments to help with building expansions and renovations. The city has an amazing 10 year plan in place, if you're interested in checking it out, click here.
Gorgeous new apartments and condos were introduced to the city. The video below highlights the bowery district and Lock 4, which is north of downtown Akron.
Pro #2 - Affordable Housing
Great news! Homes in Akron are cheap, only around $85,000. Akron is very diverse so it really depends on which area you want to move too. I am a Real Estate agent, so I have seen this diversity first hand. In certain neighborhoods, homes are selling for around $30,000, while in other areas, homes are around $500,000 and even go up into the million dollar price range. One reason why home prices are so affordable in certain areas is because of Demand. When there is a lack of buyer demand, homes struggle to appreciate year over year. Akron’s population has dipped from nearly 300,000 residents in the early 1960s to fewer than 200,000 today. If you're looking to move to Akron or the surrounding suburbs, make sure you do your research! Reach out to me if you have any questions or need some direction.
Pro #3 - Tons of Stuff to do
There is always something going on in Akron, or in the surrounding suburbs.
Downtown Akron has:
Canal Park, which is home to Akron's Minor league baseball team, the Akron Zips.
Stan Hywet Hall is another must see in Akron. The residence of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is the former country estate of the F.A. Seiberling family. Mr. Seiberling co‐ founded the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 1898, and the Seiberling Rubber Company in 1921 Stan Hywet is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is Akron, Ohio’s oldest National Historic Landmark. The winter time is the best time to go see this gorgeous castle, they have a light show that is out of this world!
The Akron Zoo is found just on the west side of downtown Akron. It's not a huge Zoo, but it's a great place to take a date, go with friends, or take the kiddos out. My favorite part of the zoo is the stories by each exhibit that tells mythology of the bird or animal.
One of Akron's most popular spots is Lock 3 & Lock 4 that is located next to the Akron Civic Theatre in downtown Akron. Each summer Lock 3 features a dynamic variety of entertainment. Friday nights the amphitheater hosts live concerts featuring the country's best tribute acts. Saturday brings Lock 3 Live! concerts with national touring artists. When the weather turns cold, from November - January, Lock 3 hosts Ohio's largest outdoor ice skating rink, Polar Putt Putt and more. Events happen rain or shine.
For a more detailed list on fun family activities to do, click here to view 15+ things to do in Akron.
Con #1 - Dangerous City
Akron isn't the safest city, and to be exact, its actually the 45th most dangerous city in America. Not all areas of Akron are dangerous, but most of the crime is located around the city center. It all depends on the neighborhood you’re in. Some areas with higher crime rates are Middlebury, East Akron, South Akron, Sherbondy Hill, Summit Lake, Cascade Valley, West hill and Kenmore. Areas with lower crime rate are Chapel Hill, North Hill, West Akron, Highland Square and Firestone Park. The safest areas are Northwest Akron, Wallhaven, Ellet, Goodyear Heights, Merriman Hills/Valley and Fairlawn Heights.
Con #2 - Schools
Schools are a huge driving factor for a lot of families when they are deciding where to move to next. A good home in a good school district can fetch a higher price, and also hold a better resale value than a similar home in a less-stellar district. While there are some great schools in Akron, they are few and far between. The elementary schools seem to fetch a higher rating than the Akron High schools. If you're interested in the best and worst schools in Akron, click here.
Within Ohio, University of Akron main campus is ranked in the "middle of the road" when it comes to education and price. The UA main campus is a good school that brings in a ton students relocating to the area. Going back to Pro #1, Akron is revitalizing downtown to make the city more appealing so that when students graduate, they will not look for job opportunities in other cities, at least thats the theory. If Akron can focus on diversifying off-campus options and opportunities and create an interaction with a cultural acceptance, maybe the surrounding (bad) schools can slowly become gentrified. Approximately half of a school's budget comes from state and city resources, including income taxes, sales tax, and fees.
Con #3 - Busy Downtown, but is it really a con?!
Okay... so it's not that busy, but for some people Akron is not what they are looking for. Really, it all comes down to traffic and parking. Finding free parking is very difficult and traffic and get pretty busy, especially when there is construction. The university of Akron is also located downtown, so on the east side of downtown, you will see a lot of students driving and walking to class. Akron's population is only around 197,000, which is relatively small when compared to Cleveland which has double the population.
I am hoping in the near future that the redevelopment of Akron will begin to attract young professionals to the city. The commercial permits is a bright spot for the city, which creates tons of jobs when it comes to building and construction trades. The city needs to remove that psychological barrier in peoples mind that the city is "dying". Momentum is not lost, this is just the beginning.