UA Buys Quaker Square Complex
Akron, Ohio, June 13, 2007 — A beloved local landmark is gaining a new owner and a new purpose. The historic Crowne Plaza Quaker Square complex has been sold to The University of Akron as the latest step in its New Landscape for Learning campus enhancement initiative.
At its regular meeting today, The University of Akron's Board of Trustees approved the $22,679,000 purchase of the 9-acre property at 135 S. Broadway St. from Jay Nusbaum on behalf of Quaker Square Properties. The University expects to be able to move in to the facility after Jan. 1, 2008. A transition team will be formed to deal with issues related to the purchase and renovation into University facilities, including accommodating upcoming booked events and working with the current office tenants.
The purchase is pending approval from the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents and the State of Ohio Controlling Board.
Quaker Square provides a unique and valuable addition to the University, according to UA President Luis M. Proenza.
“The University of Akron is continuing to invest in the revitalization of the downtown area and our neighborhood, University Park, by creating innovative ways to integrate education into the fabric of our community,” Proenza says.
“The University sees many exciting uses for this wonderful property,” says Ted Curtis, UA's vice president for capital planning and facilities management. “From office space and student housing and academic opportunities, to a sizable parking area and other amenities, the Quaker Square complex offers our University community an incredible new base of operations for a variety of uses.
“We are pleased to be able to help preserve this historic local structure,” Curtis adds. “Quaker Oats was an anchor to the City of Akron by providing many jobs for many years. Then it was an anchor to downtown Akron when Quaker Square opened with a hotel, shops and offices.”
“We look forward to working with the University in transforming this landmark into a vibrant center of campus activity,” says Rennick Andreoli, president of RDA Management and spokesman for the Nusbaum family.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel was constructed from the 19th century mills and silos that were the beginnings of the Quaker Oats Co. In March 1973, plans were announced to redevelop the vacant buildings, and on April 1, 1975, Quaker Square was opened with four shops and an ice cream parlor.
Curtis notes that he has particular pride in the University's purchase of the facility — he conceived of the project, bought and owned the project, and was the chief architect who oversaw work to convert Quaker Square into the Hilton Hotel that opened in 1980. “I've come full circle back to Quaker Square,” he says.