CenterMark Bringing New Retail to Akron’s Vernon Odom Boulevard After 46-year Hiatus




By Stephanie Warsmith
Beacon Journal staff writer

 A new Family Dollar is being built on Vernon Odom Boulevard in West Akron.

And, a Dollar Tree is now also planned for this busy street.

Together, the two stores represent the first major retail development on Vernon Odom Boulevard since 1968 when riots rampaged this part of the city, said Planning Director Marco Sommerville.

“It took us all this time,” Sommerville said, pointing to the many other improvements made to the Edgewood area of Vernon Odom, including widening the street, a new library and the new combined Akron Urban League and Helen Arnold Community Learning Center.

Akron City Council approved plans Monday for the Dollar Tree, which will be built at the corner of Vernon Odom and Moon Street, across from the Vernon Odom library branch.

“The community is really excited about this Dollar Tree coming to this corner,” said Councilwoman Margo Sommerville, who took over Marco Sommerville’s council seat when he became planning director.

A new Family Dollar is under construction at Vernon Odom Boulevard and Raymond Street.

The Dollar Tree corporation recently bought Family Dollar.

Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority is selling the vacant property for the Dollar Tree to the city of Akron, which is then selling it to CenterMark Development, a Cleveland-based developer, for the same amount. The city is involved in the sale only because Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) will be used on the property.

A TIF freezes the value of the land before any improvements are made, and taxes are paid as if the land hadn’t been developed, with the extra money going to the project.

In this case, the TIF will go to the city and will be used for public improvements to the property, including to the street and driveway and water and sewer lines. The TIF is expected to raise about $250,000 over 30 years, said Brad Beckert, Akron’s economic development engineering manager.

Mark Jablonski, president of CenterMark, said the Dollar Tree on Vernon Odom will be similar in design to the Dollar Tree that recently opened at 1038 E. Tallmadge Ave. in Akron in front of the Job Center.

Jablonski said the 10,000-square-foot store is expected to be built in less than a year, with an opening slated for December or January. The store will employ 15 people.




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