Welcome to the Submittable page for City of Akron, Office of Integrated Development (OID). OID uses this page to collect applications for various programs. Only active applications will appear for submission. 

City-Owned Property | "CitiCenter" | 146 South High Street, Akron, Ohio 44308
Parcel: 68-62135 | RFP No.: 2022OID2

The City of Akron is soliciting proposals from qualified developers for the purchase and development of a downtown property located at 146 South High Street, Akron, Ohio 44308. The totality of the property is a 0.27 acre plot located at the Northwest corners of S High and Bowery Streets (parcel 68-62135. See overhead photo of parcels below.

CitiCenter Aerial 

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The subject property (“CitiCenter”) is comprised of an 11 story, 113,400 square foot building that is connected via a skywalk to many strategic buildings including the Akron Municipal Building, 159 Main, Ohio Building, Ocasek Building, Stubbs Justice Center and the Polsky Building, which is undergoing a $20 million renovation.

Additionally, the skywalk connects to the attached City-owned parking deck and the Summit County parking deck a block to the south. The city will entertain proposals that include the development/purchase of the attached City-owned parking deck, though not required. Parking spaces in the City-owned deck are available for lease.

The zoning for the property is U3, H4, A5. This allows for apartments and retail usage. The CitiCenter building is also within the Downtown Area Redevelopment Area and is subject to the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan; this plan can be found here.

Currently, the property is vacant. CitiCenter is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as it was erected in 1933 as a YWCA facility that housed a pool and athletic facility on the 4thand 5th floors. Most recently, it housed various City offices, the CitiCenter Athletic Club, and Akron Municipal Credit Union. The CitiCenter is within easy walking distance to all the Downtown attractions including EJ Thomas, Canal Park, the Akron Civic Theatre, Knight Stage, Akron Summit Library, the Bowery Development, the Convention Center, and Locks 3 and 4, which are undergoing a $10 million renovation. It is also within one block of 159 Main and the Bowery, two major mixed-use redevelopment projects near completion.

CitiCenter offers an opportunity for development within the City of Akron. This commercial structure is located within the Downtown Redevelopment Area.  As such, Developers should refer to Akron's Downtown Vision and Redevelopment Plan,  as they develop their strategy for the property to make the development complementary to the district. The City of Akron is seeking proposals that will enhance the vibrancy of downtown and has a particular interest in mixed-use residential/retail/office projects that can activate the streetscape while providing places for people to live and work.

The City is seeking proposals that:

  • Will enhance the vibrancy of the area.
  • Take advantage of the many amenities nearby.
  • Residential, office, neighborhood retail uses, or a mixed-use combination would all be desirable on this site.
  • Projects should activate the streetscape, support walkability, and follow Best Practices for urban design.

Based on the Proposals submitted, the City intends to enter into a Redevelopment Agreement with the selected partner. The Redevelopment Agreement will include a purchase price for the CitiCenter based on Fair Market Value. The fixed purchase price will be required at closing.


The proposal and project shall be consistent with the terms contained in this Request for Proposals and should include the following:

  1. A cover letter to provide a summary of your proposed project, including your name, mailing address, contact numbers and email address, and the price offered to purchase the Property.
  2. A Narrative describing your project concept. To the extent available include site drawings and any available data from your “architectural program.”
  3. A detailed timetable for accomplishing the concept you propose. This timetable should show sequencing, if any, and contingencies.
  4. The desired method of acquisition. State with specificity the form of and proposed consideration for acquiring the Property from the City. All contingencies, including but not limited to financing contingencies should be clearly identified.
  5. A written Incentives Requests. Your proposal shall state with specificity incentives, if any, requested of the City in connection with the project. The City’s 15-year real property tax abatement program may be available for qualified residential projects. Questions regarding that program may be submitted in the manner described below.
  6. A Sources and Uses Table outlining the total expected cost of the project and the amounts and types of expected sources. Indicate whether any of the sources are already secured and, if possible, include term sheets or letters of interest.
  7. Include any additional information you consider necessary for the City to evaluate your proposal.

The City chooses not to establish a specific format for your proposal. Your proposal, however, shall contain concise written material and illustrations. Legibility, clarity, and completeness are essential. Each item in our Proposal Guidance must be addressed. Additional material, such as drafts of proposed agreements, may be included in an appendix to your proposal but will be regarded as samples subject to negotiations


The Mayor’s Office of Integrated Development shall review and evaluate proposals received by the due date and make its recommendation to the Mayor. Any agreement will be subject to the approvals of City Council and other applicable boards or commissions.

  • The City shall consider the following information when evaluating submitted proposals to determine which proposal, in the sole judgment of the City’s administration, is in the best interest of the City:
  • The proposal is best suited to complement the objectives of the Plan in a way that is financially sound and sustainable, attractive to the community, and supportive of the City’s vision.
  • The proposal is in the best financial interest of the community with consideration to purchase price offered and future tax generation potential.
  • The Developer’s Direct and substantial experience in planning and developing significant building projects with a municipal partner
  • The Developer’s Financial stability and credentials to perform its proposal.

Your proposal must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. EST on December 31st, 2022. Your proposal shall be labeled “RFP 2022OID2 CitiCenter Proposal".

All proposals should be uploaded online at Akronohio.Submittable.com and selecting the application for CitiCenter Proposal RFP.

The City of Akron reserves the right to:

  • Modify, waive, or vary terms of the RFP at any time, including and not limited to submission deadlines, and proposal requirements
  • Select more than one proposal to develop the entire property or portions thereof
  • Reject any or all proposals
  • Cancel or withdraw the RFP at any time
  • Accept the proposal which best serves the interest of the City

The following schedule represents the anticipated timeline for the selections of the RFP. If the need arises, the schedule may be altered by the City of Akron. During this process, the City may seek additional information from the responders. In addition, the City may request the responders to make a presentation of their proposal.

The estimated schedule is as follows:

        RFP Distribution October 1, 2022

        Proposal Due Date December 31, 2022

        Review of Proposals January 1, 2023, through January 31, 2023

        Award of Proposal  February 15, 2022

The City will assume that any respondent submitting a proposal has familiarized themselves with the Property enough to submit a knowledgeable proposal.

The City may choose to conduct interviews during the Review of Proposal period with any and/or all of the respondents.

All questions about this RFP should be directed by email to David Messner at dmessner@akronohio.gov. Questions should be submitted no later than December 15th, 2022. Any responses to questions will be posted to the “Developers” section of the City’s website: akronohio.gov/rfp


  • Respondent shall work with the City of Akron, prior to execution of a contract to modify the project to fit the best interest of the City.
  • Respondent shall certify that it is not delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes or City of Akron income tax.
  • City reserves the right to make no selection.
  • In submitting a response to this RFP and in the performance of any resulting award each respondent warrants that it has complied with and/or will comply with all federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, and lawful rules and regulations thereunder. Respondents further agree: 1) not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, gender (including gender identity) sexual orientation, or military status and 2) That every subcontract related to the Project will contain a provision requiring nondiscrimination in employment as specified above.
  • The respondent, by submitting a proposal agrees that any cost it incurs in responding to this RFP or in support of activities associated with this RFP, are to be borne by the respondent and are not the responsibility of the City. The City will incur no obligation or liability whatsoever to anyone by reason of the issuance of this RFP, or action by anyone relative thereto.

Thank you for your interest in the City of Akron. We look forward to hearing from you.

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What is Akron's Residential CRA Tax Abatement Program?

  • The abatement allows owners to pay taxes solely on the pre-improvement assessed value of their residential property for 15 years after improvements are completed. Property owners will not be required to pay property taxes on any increase in value that resulted from renovation or new construction on the property for a period of 15 years.
  • The abatement stays with the property for the 15-year duration of the abatement. If it is sold during the 15-year period of the abatement, the new owner continues to receive the abatement. 
  • At the end of the 15 years of abatement the property will be taxed at its total post-improvement assessed value. 

What types of improvements qualify? 

Major Improvements that MAY qualify homeowner for tax abatement. 

  • Building a new porch
  • Remodel a basement/attic into living space
  • New additions to an existing structure
  • Install a sunroom
  • New construction
  • Gut and renovate a home or apartment building
  • Build or enlarge a garage
  • Install indoor fireplace
  • Install new additional bathroom

Are there any restrictions? 

  • Appropriate building permits must be issues to qualify for the tax abatement. Certificates of Occupancy or final inspections signed PRIOR TO APRIL 24, 2017 WILL NOT qualify for the property abatement.
  • The property must be located in the City of Akron and identified on the Summit County Fiscal Office Auditor property card as being located within the City of Akron.
  • Property Taxes and assessments cannot be delinquent.
  • The property must be appropriately maintained or the tax exemption may be revoked.
  • Only residential structures are eligible of the abatement. For mixed-use structures, only the residential portion will be eligible.
  • Property must meet City of Akron zoning requirements.
  • A minimum of $5,000 investment in renovation or construction is required to apply.
  • Per Ohio Revised Code Section 3735.67, if the housing structure qualifies as a historic structure, the appropriateness of the remodeling must be certified, in writing, by an authorized person or organization prior to issuance of the abatement. 

What are the steps in the process?

Step 1 - The developer or owner must pull a building permit with the Summit County Building Department located at 1030 E, Tallmadge Ave. #3, Akron, OH 44310

Step 2 - Upon pulling a permit, provide a copy of the permit and complete the City of Akron Community Reinvestment Tax Abatement - Residential Application. The application can be summited online or mail to:        

                   City of Akron Tax Abatement

                   Department of Planning and Urban Development

                   Long Range Planning

                   166 S. High Street, Room 401

                   Akron, OH 44308

Step 3 - The City of Akron Department of Planning and Urban Development reviews the applications for completeness. If the Application and supporting documentation meet the requirements, the application will be processed for tax abatement. The application will be forwarded to the County Auditor's Office.

Step 4 - The Summit County Auditor will conduct a field inspection and verify the new construction/rehabilitation. Value (if appropriate) will be added to the property. Tax adjustments will be made accordingly. 

The tax abatement program does NOT guarantee abatement for county periodic reassessments. The abatement is only for the increase in assessed property tax value triggered by the current remodeling or new construction improvements.

For more information about the City of Akron's Community Reinvestment Area Tax Abatement Program or download a copy of the application visit our website: 



1.  Answer the questions in the space provided for each question; keep your answers brief and to the point.  If necessary, you may include additional information in the Attachments section.

2.  Label all attachments.

3.  To provide the reviewers of your application with a better understanding of the target area of the project, you may attach photographs, maps or other visual aids.  These may be included with the application.

4. If a question does not appear to apply to your proposal, “Not Applicable” or “N/A” is a legitimate answer.

5.   If you have questions about completing the application, please contact Darin Chambers of the Long Range Planning Division at (330) 375-2090, x 6476.

FOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS:  For housing projects (8 units or more) OR retail/commercial projects. Please include the following:

In addition to the required supplementary application documents, include:

1) Detailed construction estimate(s) for the proposed work (including permitting fees)

2) Detailed project budget

3) Drawings of the improvements to be completed (if available)

4) Proof of financial ability and

5) Photos of the building in jpeg format (please, no PDFs)

Federal Regulations and Compliance:  All projects whose total costs are in excess of $2,000 must be prepared to comply with the Federal Davis Bacon rules, including prevailing wage requirements. Guidance will be provided to awardees to assist with this process.
Section 3 compliance is required for any construction project of $200,000 or more.

Request for Bids FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK (non-housing projects):  Following final approval by the City Of Akron, the applicant will be responsible for securing bids for all work to be completed under the CDC support project.  Prospective bidders should be provided a copy of the approved design details/construction drawings, detailed construction specifications and contract conditions (i.e., current prevailing wage rate determination; insurance coverage requirements; licensing requirements, etc.).  A minimum of two bids is advised for all work to be completed as part of the proposed CDC project.  Bids should be broken down in line item detail in accordance with the approved construction specifications.

Note:  The selected contractor(s) are required to maintain a business license with the City of Akron or Summit County, as well as insurance coverage in the type and amounts deemed necessary by the City.  Additionally, selected contractors must comply with Federal requirements and restrictions related to fair labor standards, equal opportunity employment, conflict of interest and certain environmental protection issues.  

The following is a general summary of the information contained in the body of the application:
Community Development Corporations (CDCs) are nonprofit, community-based organizations focused on revitalizing the areas in which they are located, typically low-income, under-served neighborhoods that have experienced significant disinvestment. While they are most commonly celebrated for developing affordable housing, they are usually involved in a range of initiatives critical to community health such as economic development, sanitation, streetscaping, and neighborhood planning projects, and oftentimes even provide education and social services to neighborhood residents.

CDCs play a critical role in building community wealth for several key reasons:

  • They anchor capital in communities by developing residential and commercial property, ranging from affordable housing to shopping centers and even businesses.

  • At least one-third of a CDC’s board is typically composed of community residents, allowing for the possibility of direct, grass-roots participation in decision-making.

  • CDCs work to enhance community conditions oftentimes involves neighborhood organizing, a process critical for empowering residents and gaining political power.

  • What is a CDC?

           1.  Defining  Community Development:  Engagement, Planning, Creative Placemaking, Greenspace and trail connectivity
          2.  CDC Focus for Request for Proposal (RFP):  Housing development; Neighborhood level economic development (e.g., Great Streets Program)


Section A:  Community Development Corporation Information

1. Name of Agency.  Name of the community development corporation submitting the application and responsible for the project(s).

2. Agency Mailing Address.  Address for primary agency responsible for project.

3. Project/Program Address/Location.  Address or location of where the project/program will take place.

4. Agency Director.  Name of Agency Executive Director, Chief Executive Office (CEO) or President.

5-7. Contact Person, Phone Number, E-Mail Address.  Information regarding the person responsible for completing the application; who can answer all pertinent questions; and who is officially designated as the CDBG contact.

8.  Organization Founded.  Please provide the date that your organization was founded.

9.  Tax ID Number.  The nine-digit tax number that is used by your agency.

10.  SAM (System for Award Management number).  Visit SAM.gov to register (https://www.sam.gov).  Please note that registration in SAM.gov is FREE!  Please do not go through third-party links to register or update your agency’s registration in SAM.gov.  

11.  Project Name.  Please provide official name of project.

12.  Project Location.  Specify the neighborhood served by your project.   For more information consult the City of Akron website Neighborhood Profiles page at https://goo.gl/7wuAaM.

13. Total Project Cost.  Provide the total expense of your CDC’s project (including all other funding sources)

14. Funds Requested.  Your CDC Support request.  Provide the total amount of your CDC Support request in dollars. $100,000 maximum.

15. Percentage of Project Cost to be Funded by Award.  Of all funding sources, what percent is funded with requested dollars? To calculate, divide the requested amount by the total value of all funding sources. The maximum percentage of total project costs that can be funded is 50%.

16. Attachments.  Please include the following items in an attachment:

    a.  IRS Tax Exempt Confirmation letter (501(c)(3))

    b.  Most recent code of regulations.  (Also known s your agency's Bylaws.)

    c.  Proof of incorporation from Secretary of State (CERTIFICATE ONLY)

    d.  Current organization chart with names of staff members

    e.  List of current Board of Directors and terms of office

    f.  A map of the neighborhood(s) served with defined boundaries.  (For more information consult the City of Akron website Neighborhood Profiles page at https://goo.gl/7wuAaM.)

    g.  For all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations: a copy of the organization’s most recently submitted audit is preferred.  However, please provide a copy of your most recent tax return, at a minimum

     h.  Organization mission statement


1. Federal regulations require that all CDBG projects meet one of three national objectives to qualify for funding. This project/program meets at least ONE of the HUD national objectives listed below (please check all that apply)

Select at least one of the national objectives to be eligible to receive funding.

2. Select the statements that describe how this project meets one of the previously listed National Objectives.

Select at least one of the statements to be eligible to receive funding.

3. 2023 Eligibility

Indicate if your project impacts a Great Streets Akron district or is related to the goals of Planning to Grow Akron or Planning to Grow Akron 2.0.

4. Project Category

Select one of the listed categories that best fits your organization’s funding request.


1. What types of services does your CDC provide?

Describe all types of services provided by your CDC, even those that do not necessarily require funding.  Be as specific as possible. Please describe the activities you want to pay for with the grant funds and those that you anticipate could be paid for with other funding.

2.  Self-explanatory.

3.  Self-explanatory.

4. Who is the primary population served?

Which individuals, neighborhoods, or business does the CDC benefit?  Please be as specific as possible. Additionally, if a more specific group will be served by your CDC’s project, please make this clear in your answer.


Please note that goals represent the outcome you intend to achieve whereas objectives represent the actions that help you achieve a goal.

6.  What is the target area served by your CDC?

This helps to pinpoint the program’s location and is helpful in identifying who will benefit from the CDC; e.g., a limited clientele, such as homeless or elderly, or clientele in a limited area that can be identified through census tracts and block groups.  Provide a map attachment showing the boundaries.  Please note that a maximum of one CDC per neighborhood will be awarded funding. For more information consult the City of Akron website Neighborhood Profiles page at https://goo.gl/7wuAaM

5. How does your CDC plan to reduce the need for future grant funding?

Will your CDC always need grant funding for this project/program or will you be able to reduce the need in the future?  If the reviewers do not recommend that you receive the total amount requested, will you still be able to do the proposed project/program?


1. How many people/households will be served by this project?

Briefly explain the activities you plan to undertake with this funding opportunity.

2. Of the total number of people in Question 1, how many of these are low- to moderate income (LMI)?

The City of Akron prefers that at least 51% of clients served be low-to moderate income (LMI) as described in HUD housing guidelines. Please indicate the number LMI persons you expect to be served by your CDC.  You must also be able to document income levels and race/ethnicity of persons being served.

Under the limited clientele category, 51% of the beneficiaries have to be low-to moderate income. The following chart shows the 2022 income limits for extremely low-to-moderate income persons:


3. What is the projected outcome of this program/project? (How will the outcome benefit the total number of persons in Question 1?)

Briefly explain the expected outcomes of your project(s).  The outcomes describe the benefits that result from your activities or outputs and how well they met the user needs. For example: 20 children will learn to read, 7 seniors will access legal help.

4. What procedures will be put into effect to create, compile and maintain data to track performance measurement for this program/project?

How will you manage the collection of data needed to measure the performance of the project?  Will you keep daily/weekly reports, use a specific form or program to track data, etc?


The Project Budget allows you to itemize the expenses related to your project(s). This section allows the reviewers to determine the key areas that will be targeted by the funding.

Project/Program Title:

Fill in Project Title.

Project/Program Expenses:

This table should be filled in completely and reflect all costs related to the project. The first column should detail the items that would be paid for with CDC funding.  The second column should reflect funding that is anticipated from other sources.  The third column should list the entire budget for the project. Keep in mind that a dollar for dollar match is required.

Billing Procedures: Funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis for expenses incurred in accordance with the contract's goals and objectives.  Billings for anticipated expenses may be included by special arrangement.  Billing schedules may vary for projects, but will generally be either monthly or quarterly. No advances will be given.

Eligible reimbursements are based on items in your approved project budget.

Any costs incurred before the effective date of the contract or after the termination date of the contract will not be covered by the grant. Matching funds must be expended within the period of the grant agreement.

Monitoring and Reporting: Monthly progress reports and a short final report evaluating the success of the project are required as a condition of receiving reimbursement under the contract.  Monthly reports must be submitted in order to be reimbursed project expenses.

City staff will periodically conduct on-site monitoring of each project.  This will include observing project activities and a review of files and financial records.  Any deficiencies or required corrective actions will be noted in a formal letter to the grant recipient.

SECTION F:  Certifications

Provide the necessary signature from one of the following ONLY:  Agency Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or President.


Number and name all attachments, list them in the index of attachments and make sure all of the references to the application are correct. Attachments should only be included if they answer the questions posed in the application. In addition to the required attachments, include only those attachments that are needed to understand the project.


NOTE: These federal funds REQUIRE historic coordination for buildings over 50 years and for buildings in a historic district (Aster Ave, Kenmore Blvd).  If funds are approved, businesses with historic designation MUST work with architect specializing in historic renovation AND accept their recommendations prior to beginning work. 

Notes about Federal Funds

· This program is funded with Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As such, the program is subject to federal regulation and review by federal.

· Please note: businesses are qualified at the federal level based on household earnings of the census block in which they are located. Businesses in the Wallhaven district do not qualify for the Matching Façade Grant.

Program Eligibility and Application

· Owners of business property in specified Great Streets areas are eligible to apply for financial assistance under this program. All applicants must be pre-qualified by the City to receive assistance according to Federal guidelines.  Applications will be ranked based on pre-determined criteria provided on page 16 of this packet. It is not guaranteed that all applicants will receive assistance.

· Property owners must be current on taxes OR have been making faithful payments for six months prior to applying. Property owners must continue to make faithful payments and/or stay current on taxes until the project is completed.

· Project eligibility must be confirmed by the Office of Integrated Development. Application forms may be obtained online at www.greatstreetsakron.com, or from the Office of Integrated Development Staff at (330) 375-2355.

· A Unique Entity ID (generated by SAM.gov) is required to apply. The Unique Entity ID is a 12-character alphanumeric ID assigned to an entity by SAM.gov. As of April 4, 2022, the DUNS Number has been removed from SAM.gov and is no longer required. Entity registration, searching, and data entry in SAM.gov now require use of the new Unique Entity ID. Existing registered entities can find their Unique Entity ID by following the steps here. New entities can get their Unique Entity ID at SAM.gov and, if required, complete an entity registration. If awarded a grant, you MUST submit a SAM number BEFORE your contract can proceed. Again, please note that contracts will not be processed without a SAM number

· After receipt of an application and confirmation of a possible grant award, a representative of the Office of Integrated Development will contact the applicant. The representative will meet with eligible applicants to review their property, offer recommendations for building and site improvements, and assist the applicant through the review process.

Matching Grants for Façade and Site Improvements

· Matching grants from the City are available only for exterior improvements and/or site improvements. Eligible items include façade renovation, brick and masonry cleaning, painting, installation of new doors and windows, signage improvements, outdoor lighting, outdoor security cameras, roofing, paving and landscaping of on-site parking areas and architectural fees. HVAC and building additions do not generally qualify for assistance.

· Proposed improvements will be reviewed for compliance with building and zoning code standards, including hard surfacing and landscape screening of parking areas.

· Grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar by private funds. Applicants must provide proof of financial means for their share of project funding to the City prior to the start of construction. Architectural fees may be used as part of private matching share.

· Grant funds will be disbursed only AFTER the City has verified the completion of work, and final paid invoices have been submitted. Please note these are REIMBURSEMENT grant funds for completed work.

· Project improvement costs are eligible for payment only if completed AFTER approval by the Office of Integrated Development (OID) and subject to the dates specified within the signed contract between the City and the recipient. Grant awardees should NOT begin work on their project until AFTER there is a signed and fully executed contract with OID. 

· Maximum grant is $30,000.

· Grants are awarded by building, rather than address or parcel. This means a strip mall/plaza would be eligible for one grant; an owner with multiple separate structures on the same parcel would be able to apply for each structure.

· Since these façade improvement grants are public funds, participants are encouraged to get multiple bids for their project if possible. This allows for some assurance that the project pricing is competitive and there is an opportunity to support local businesses.

· As stated above, two or more official construction bids are encouraged before the application goes to final approval. For this purpose, preliminary construction estimates from a licensed contractor are strongly encouraged with your application. This puts the scope of the project in context to the applicant and speeds up the final approval phase. It is highly recommended that an applicant begin collecting construction bids once they receive a preliminary approval letter.

· The selected contractor(s) are required to maintain a business license with Summit County, as well as, insurance coverage in the type and amounts deemed necessary by the City. Additionally, selected contractors must comply with Federal requirements and restrictions related to fair labor standards, equal opportunity employment, conflict of interest and certain environmental protection issues.

· ALL contractors must be registered in the SAM’s.

· All required permits for renovation activities will be verified for each project and must be submitted with invoices. If permits are not obtained prior to renovation activities, invoices will not be paid. For information on required permits, please contact the Summit County Building Department at 330-630-7280.


Applications released – Rolling

Applications due – Rolling

Preliminary Approval Letters – As awarded

Site Visits – As scheduled

Application Review: Varies (See Below)

Application Review Process:

· After site visits, buildings 50yrs or older OR buildings residing in a historic districts (Kenmore Blvd, Aster Ave), applications will be sent for review by an architect specializing in historic renovation. Projects in historic districts or on historic buildings must be approved by historic architect PRIOR to the beginning of work

· Once final construction bids and proof of matching funds are received, application is then sent to committee for final review. We cannot move forward with processing your application if finalized bids are not submitted.

· The duration of this process varies. The more complete your application is when submitted, the more expedited the process (ie. Including a detailed scope of the project, all supplementary documentation, all construction bids, and visual architectural renderings (highly encouraged).

· Once approved by the review committee, a contract will be prepared and sent to you for signatures. Grant awardees will sign and return THREE (3) copies of their contract. None of the work outlined in your application should begin before you have signed a contract. This is to your benefit, as receipts submitted outside the timeline of the contract may be denied or delayed

· A SAM number MUST be submitted before your contract can proceed.

· Grant awardees must submit a copy of their certificate of insurance, with the city of Akron added on as an additional insured, including additional insured endorsement for commercial general liability.

· Upon receipt of your signed contract, and after it is fully executed, you will be notified that your contractors may secure permits and begin work.

Payment upon receipt of invoices: The City makes payment upon receipt of invoices and successful completion of work. You may submit invoices as work is completed; you do not have to wait until the entire project is complete. Ten percent is withheld on each payment until the overall project is completely finished. Checks are usually issued 3-6 weeks after invoices are received if a fully executed contract is in place. Again, DO NOT BEGIN WORK until you have signed and returned 3 copies of your contract, and are notified of its full execution.


Our committee often encounters business owners who want to do something but they aren’t quite sure what to do. Here are some best practices, things we like to see, and comments we typically make when reviewing applications. If you are still uncertain about what you would like to do, please contact Mark Greer at mgreer@akronohio.gov, 330-375-2133.

· Improved lighting to all sides of the building and parking lots (lighting side streets and side/back alleys serve to improve safety and increase walkability)

· Install awnings over doors and windows

· Install outdoor security cameras

· Install outdoor patio seating

· Adding green space/planters.

· Invest in signage (see signage guidelines for more details.)

· Mural installation on exposed wall

· Installing large storefront windows/opening closed off windows

· Landscaping improvements

· Power washing building façade

· Creating landscaping in large parking lots/landscaping edge to parking lot

· Beautifying the rear and sides of the building especially where there is access to alleys and parking lots.

Other things to note:

  • Coordinating with neighbors on shared parking, landscaping, signage, awnings, lighting, etc., helps create a cohesive look and feel to the neighborhood and can reduce costs if choosing the same company/contractor.
  • Coordinate with your Neighborhood Business District design standards, if applicable. Some business districts have established design guidelines which should be taken into account before planning your project, to ensure compliance and uniformity of design.  
  • Parking lot repairs, roof repairs, and other general maintenance work should typically not be the ONLY improvements done. Projects with these repairs should also include an improvement to the façade of the business (see above list for suggestions).
  • Visit the resources section of our website Greatstreetsakron.com for additional grant opportunities, sources of capital, design guide, CPTED manual, reference documents, and other helpful materials. 

Congratulations on completing the Level 3 -- Design award. With architectural and construction documents for your project, you have overcome a significant hurdle and are well on your way to determining financial and renovation needs for opening your business. 

Rubber City Match has one final award to assist you in moving your business forward. 

Level 4 – Cash. Cash awards are for building and business owners who know the full cost of their projects but require financial assistance to get open. Awardees will receive the opportunity for loan assistance by having our lending partners review their application. Awardees may be eligible to receive grants to fill the financial gap not covered by owner equity and financing for their project.

We are pleased to inform you that your business has advanced for consideration as a finalist for the Cash award. 

Cash awards are for business or building owners who know the full cost of their projects but require financial assistance to get open. Awardees will receive the opportunity to apply for financing from our lending partners. Lending partners along with Rubber City Match jury members will review this application to help inform feasibility of grant making and lending. Awardees will receive grants to fill the financial gap not covered by owner equity and available financing for their project.


All cash finalists must complete this supplemental cash finalist application by December 17. Your application will be reviewed by Rubber City Match jury members along with lending partners to determine cash awardees and prospective loan candidates. 

Once again, congratulations on being selected as a Cash finalist. Thank you for your interest in being part of Akron’s revitalization and your patience as we select Rubber City Match awardees.

If you have any questions, please contact us at rubbercitymatch@akronohio.gov or 330-285-3467. 

City of Akron