Sylvania market analysis points to future needs

by Jerry Arkebauer

Based on an extensive market analysis conducted by a design firm, the future of Sylvania for additional housing, retail, restaurants and Class A office space is significant.
That’s the opinion of Michelle Johnson, director of community planning and design for Environmental Design Group of Akron. EDG is under contract with the city of Sylvania to complete the analysis of the general downtown Sylvania area, including Main Street, the SOMO apartment development and along Monroe Street to near Harroun Road.
She made her remarks to the board of directors of the Sylvania Area Community Improvement Corp., on June 10 using Zoom due to the COVID-19.
“Our analysis shows that while Sylvania has about 19,000 residents, its 10-minute drive-time daytime population jumps to 73,000. Median income of $83,000 with 40 percent of the residents college-educated are impressive numbers,” she noted.
The firm’s analysis indicates that the area could support an additional 50,000 square feet of retail, particularly high-end clothing stores, high-end grocery markets and specialty boutiques like those for wine and olive oil, with an additional 147,000 square feet of restaurants and bars.
“In terms of housing, the SOMO apartment development will add 206 apartments and the residents there are expected to add $3.7 million annually of immediate spending. Even so, there is room for more high-end apartments, townhomes or condos,” she explained.
She said her firm also projects a Sylvania market for additional Class A office space and co-working space.
Johnson said she was particularly impressed with the parklets for the downtown area, small entertainment tables in parking spaces on public streets in the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA). She already has used the Sylvania parklets as examples to other communities.
The next steps will be to solicit public involvement in the planning process, and to complete the project by fall.

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