Front Street served as the city center from its inception until the road was closed nearly 40 years ago.
Like many communities during the 1960's and '70's, the city made the decision to create a pedestrian mall in the hopes that by removing traffic, people would flock to the vacant downtown spaces. At the time, people flocked to indoor shopping malls that essentially turned original downtowns into ghost towns.
The niche at the time was thought to entice businesses and shoppers to return, but only 11% of all pedestrian malls have flourished and most, if not all of those that survived, have milder weather than Northeast Ohio.
Fast forward 40 years and the demand is not huge, indoor shopping or pedestrian malls, but rather, accessible downtowns that are being reborn with remarkable success. The city has brought to the table findings from historical studies, market and housing studies, multiple community meetings, and countless conversations with residents across the city and determined that Cuyahoga Falls must move toward an open downtown model.
To ensure success for our downtown transformation, the mall must be opened to provide accessibility and visibility for businesses to remain viable. It is our goal to have a thriving downtown district that will improve our residents' quality of life and welcome travelers to play and shop in our city.
[Photo courtesy of MKSK.]