Will an 'Overlay District' Draw Businesses to the Stow-Kent Plaza?
An overlay district that allows for mixed-use development could mean big business news for the mostly empty plaza. What do you think?
The planning commission discussed turning the mostly empty Stow-Kent Shopping Plaza into an overlay district with flexible zoning to encourage development of the area with several empty stores.
An overlay district would allow for mixed-use tenants — both retail and residential (for those who are 55 and older).
The goal is to provide a district that is both sustainable and compatible with the adjacent properties, according to Stow's Planning Director Rob Kurtz.
He said the redevelopment of Stow's vacant commercial areas is in general a concern of the planning commission and the general public.
The public was very vocal on a Visions for Vacancies Stow Patch story in February where more than 120 people left comments about the plaza and what stores they'd like to see go into the vacant stores.
Later, as a follow up, readers voted on what store suggestions they liked the most. The results of the poll as of 8 p.m. June 28 shows that most people wanted a Trader Joe's to go in.
Unfortunately Mayor Sara Drew said she heard that Trader Joe's isn't interested in developing in the greater-Akron area.
Do you think allowing for mixed-use in the plaza will bring in business?