Chapel Hill Mall

Lauren Ward
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Fifty years ago, when Akron’s first shopping mall opened, it marked a beginning of the migration of retail out of downtown. These days, that mall is struggling and customers may be heading back to Main Street. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia looks at the future of retail in Akron.

photo of Cuyahoga Falls yarn bomb
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Cuyahoga Falls City Council will vote tonight on whether to proceed with the $10 million makeover of the city’s mostly empty pedestrian mall.

The plan to redevelop Front Street has been percolating for three years; Mayor Don Walters usually jokes that the street was closed to automobiles in 1978, and they began regretting the decision in 1979.

photo of Macy's Chapel Hill
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The impending closure of Sears at Chapel Hill Mall is spurring talks between Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, and the mayors of nearby Cuyahoga Falls and Tallmadge. Horrigan says he has reached out to discuss what the future of the mall may be once Sears closes this spring. He says he also reached out to the mayors last year when Macy's closed its Chapel Hill store.

photo of Macy's Chapel Hill
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

State lawmakers are including money in Ohio’s proposed capital budget to help Stark State College set-up an Akron campus.

The budget would include $6.5 million for the new campus, and Stark State spokeswoman Marisa Rohn says about a quarter of the school’s students are from Summit County. She also says that the school is still in the exploratory phase of finding a space in Akron.

photo of Macy's Chapel Hill
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Chapel Hill Mall in Akron continues to lose tenants, but one of its three anchors may not be empty for long.

Several stores – including Old Navy -- have left the mall since January. The FYE music and video store closes today, and Macy’s closed on Saturday.

Crystal Davis from Akron was at Macy’s on its final day, and sees parallels with the shuttered Rolling Acres Mall.

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