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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

U of Akron cuts deal for Quaker Square

By STAN BULLARD2:57 pm, June 13, 2007

The University of Akron plans to study converting the landmark Quaker Square complex into university-related offices and student housing following a decision today by its board of trustees to acquire the property for $22.7 million.

Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, and the State Controlling Board still must approve the purchase for the university to consummate the deal.The university said it has formed a transition team to deal with issues related to the planned purchase and renovation of the complex into university facilities, including accommodating coming events and working with current office tenants.Luis M. Proenza, University of Akron president, said in a statement the purchase is another investment by the university in downtown and its University Park neighborhood.

Dr. Proenza said the university would look to create “innovative ways to integrate education into the fabric of our community.”Quaker Square has been a beacon for redevelopment of downtown Akron since 1975, when the 19th-century mills and silos that were part of Quaker Oats Co. became a mixed-use complex.
A Hilton Hotel with rooms in the one time silos opened in 1980. It is now a Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The purchase of the complex from Jay Nusbaum and Quaker Square Properties includes the historic buildings and parking lot, a nine-acre parcel.

The university said it intends to start moving into the complex after Jan. 1.


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