401 Lofts developer makes pitch to Council

April 05, 2011

The developer of student housing in downtown Akron made a pitch to City Council during a public hearing to add a 209-unit apartment building adjacent to his highly successful 22 Exchange development.

The new project will be named 401 Lofts. It will be built on the block south of 22 Exchange, at 401 S. Main St., where the shuttered Parrish McIntyre building now stands.

"This is an upscale development that we plan to market to workers in Akron's biomedical corridor as well as University of Akron students," said Martin Mehall, the developer. "We learned from the 22 Exchange project that there is demand for studio apartments. There are few in the marketplace, and this project will include 108 studio apartments."401 Lofts will be the nicest student and young professional housing in the market," he said.

Mehall is asking Council to approve the sale of 2.2 acres for $264,000. The land is appraised at $198,000. He also would pay approximately $40,000 for demolition of the Parrish McIntyre building. In return, the city would invest $250,000 in improvements including street parking and sidewalks. If he wins Council approval, Mehall said the building will be open by the fall of 2012.

Following the presentation, at the request of Planning Committee chair Jeff Fusco, Council agreed to delay a vote on the ordinance that would authorize the development. "We should count our blessings to see this kind of development in our city, but there are many moving parts that Council should have time to review," Fusco said.