University Park Alliance

University Park Alliance (UPA) is a Community Development Corporation set up to serve as a steward and place-making enterprise in the underserved but asset-rich University Park neighborhood of Akron.

Despite the philanthropic and institutional commitment to the effort, UPA has been unable to implement and execute the transformative projects and initiatives it had set out to undertake, leaving UPA in a precarious financial position. U3 Advisors was brought in to guide the UPA Board in reimagining the organization to better align its mission, structure, operations, and funding with institutional and community needs and opportunities for redevelopment and revitalization.

Through an analysis that integrated a neighborhood data scan, in-depth interviews, and case studies, U3 proposed the following recommendations:

•    CLEAN UP: 
o    Sell or donate all residential real estate properties 
o    Rename and rebrand
o    Redraw UPA’s geographic boundaries & target specific commercial corridors
o    Relaunch as an active community building, voluntary special improvement district 
•    FUND:
o    Secure annual voluntary operating funds from anchor institutions to leverage additional resources 
o    Identify and create a strategy building on demand drivers of anchor institutions