The robust planning process to transform our pedestrian mall and reopen it to traffic involves various studies which weighed several elements and landmarks within the downtown area including:

  • The Clock Tower and fountains
  • Economic development opportunities
  • Existing businesses and property owners
  • General access, garages, and street parking
  • Retail storefronts
  • Signature community events
  • Walking, biking, and streetscape

The Studies

The following details the studies that guide the downtown revitalization plan.

They identify possibilities for restaurants, retail stores both big and small, and housing. These studies all have resulted in the same conclusion - that, to ensure success, the mall must be opened to traffic to provide better accessibility to patrons.

  1. Residential Market Study
  2. Retail Market Analysis
  3. Downtown Circulation Plan
  4. Downtown Historic District Presentation
  5. Cuyahoga Falls Better Block

Residential Market Study

By Gibbs Planning Group

This study finds that Cuyahoga Falls will have an annual demand for up to 45 new housing units starting in 2017 and continuing to 2030 for a total of up to 585 new housing units. Much of this demand could be met within the downtown, given existing development proposals and future economic development stemming from converting the existing pedestrian mall into a two-way urban street. The demand for new units breaks down into 325 new owner-occupied units and 260 new renter-occupied (multi-family) units by 2030. These new units will appeal to newly formed households, including a mix of young age cohorts, empty nesters and some market-rate active adults/early retirees.

Learn more: Residential Market Study

Retail Market Analysis

By Gibbs Planning Group

This study finds that re-opening downtown Cuyahoga Falls to automobile traffic would likely enable the study area to support an additional 215,350 square feet of retail and restaurant development, generating over $60.4 million in new sales. By 2021, continued development in the study area and household income growth could increase potential sales to $65.9 million. The demand could partially be absorbed by existing businesses and/or with the opening of 95 to 115 new restaurants and stores.

Filling existing vacancies and new development in the study area can provide needed goods and services for the existing surrounding consumer base of nearby residents, employees and visitors. Furthermore, attracting a critical mass of retailers and restaurants downtown can reestablish the historic commercial, social and civic functions to the core of Cuyahoga Falls.

Learn more: Retail Market Study

Downtown Circulation Plan


The circulation plan looks to address the reopening of the Downtown Pedestrian Mall through a variety of alternatives for converting Front, Second, & Oakwood into a two-way operation and for reconfiguring the Route 8 Interchange. This analysis includes parking and traffic projection models, comparative community developments and public input for recommendations on the best way forward.

Learn more: Feb 2016 Final Presentation | Sept 2015 Presentation

Downtown Historic District Presentation & HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY REPORT

By Naylor Wellman

The historic presentation works to determine the boundaries for a local historic district(s) within the Cuyahoga River Planning Area and create an accessible resource of historical and architectural information on significant buildings for use by the Design & Historic Review Board, and with on-going historic preservation planning directives.

Learn more: Downtown Historic District Presentation  | Historic Architectural Survey Report


cuyahoga falls better block

By 427 Design

The purpose behind the Better Block concept is to work with cities, developers, and stakeholders to create quick, inexpensive, high-impact changes that improve and revitalize underused properties and highlight the potential for creating great “Complete Streets.”

Participants from the 2016 Better Block event had an opportunity to test ideas and provide feedback on the downtown transformation project.

Learn more: Website | Survey Results | Survey Summary

[Photo courtesy Fitzwater Photography]