Do you like your neighborhood? Is it friendly, and where everyone knows their neighbors? No matter if you live in the sticks or in an apartment building in downtown Akron, you have a little pocket that you can call home. And each neighborhood is different.
Smaller neighborhoods usually have obvious benefits — less crime, a slower pace of life, and a lower cost of living. But not all Akron neighborhoods are created equal. Some are better than others. But which ones?
Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and find out which neighborhoods in Akron are the best. If you’re in one of the places we’re about to highlight, odds are you know you’ve got it made.
Here are the best neighborhoods in Akron for 2018:
- Northwest Akron (Homes)
- Fairlawn Heights (Homes)
- Firestone Park (Homes)
- Highland Square (Homes)
- West Akron (Homes)
- Ellet (Homes)
- Merriman Valley (Homes)
- Wallhaven (Homes)
- South Akron (Homes)
- Goodyear Heights (Homes)
Read on to see how we determined the places around Akron that deserve a little bragging rights or maybe you’re interested in the worst neighborhoods in Akron.
If you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Ohio check out:
How do you determine the top neighborhoods in Akron for 2018?
In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Akron, we had to determine what criteria defines a ‘best’.
Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:
- High incomes
- Low unemployment rates
- Low crime
- High home prices
- High population densities (A proxy for things to do)
We limited the analysis to neighborhoods with over 1,000 people.
We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 21 in each category, where 1 was the best.
Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.
And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the ‘Best City Neighborhood In Akron.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Northwest Akron.
Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best places Akron has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.
1. Northwest Akron
Median Income: $69,119
Median Home Value: $164,410
2. Fairlawn Heights
Median Income: $70,855
Median Home Value: $230,167
Located between Interstate 77 to the southwest and West Market Street to the northeast and bounded by Miller Road to the northwest and Frank Blvd Park to the southeast, Fairlawn Heights is a treasure trove of early to middle 20th century architecture. Once home to the Quaker Oats heiress and the like, this lovely section of Akron boasts large wooded lots nestled along a hillside, giving it the feel of being in the country when only minutes from downtown Akron and the expressway. Houses tend to start in the 3000 sq foot range upwards to 10,000 sq feet, with most having been built in either the late 1920s early ’30s, and then again from the late 1940s to the mid 1960s. Many styles of Architecture abound, with Tudor Revival being the main choice, and Georgian revival and colonial a close second, There are French Norman and French Chateaux as well as Bauhaus and mid-century modern next to large 1960s country ranches.
More on Fairlawn Heights: Real Estate | Data
3. Firestone Park
Median Income: $41,583
Median Home Value: $80,932
Harvey Firestone embarked on creating a neighborhood with tree-lined boulevards curved around a central park. He saw families of different income levels living together in diverse styles of homes. He saw churches, schools and stores within walking distance. When Seiberling started on his ambitious housing initiatives in Goodyear Heights, Harvey Firestone did not want to be outdone. Like Seiberling, Firestone hired his estate landscape architect, Alling S. DeForest, to design the layout for Firestone Park. Akron officials have pushed the limits of the area beyond its original borders. City publications draw the park as far south as Firestone Country Club, annexed from Coventry Township in 1985. Firestone Park is located in south Akron, bordering Coventry Twp. Firestone has easy access to two expressways, Interstate 77 and Interstate 277 / U.S. Highway 224. The 2000 U.S. census can explain the attraction objectively. It paints a portrait of an educated working-class population with good incomes and home values. Firestone Park, a public park shaped like the original Firestone shield emblem, is at the heart of the community. It is surrounded by churches, a school, a community center, a new library, and a small business district.
More on Firestone Park: Real Estate | Data
4. Highland Square
Median Income: $35,615
Median Home Value: $96,920
Highland Square is known as one of the more eclectic areas of Akron. It is a pleasant and walkable residential area featuring an organic grocery store, a library, a theater, several restaurants, and some nightclubs and bars. The Square is considered the Arts and hip urbanite district of Akron. Its large number of historical and modern apartment complexes mean that it is more densely populated than the rest of Akron, in which single unit homes are more common. Many of these apartments line the neighborhoods major thoroughfare, West Market Street, making them very accessible. Highland Square is strongly progressive; John Kerrys Summit County Headquarters was located in a Highland Square storefront during the 2004 Presidential Election. Many members of the LGBT community have made their home here and many businesses are either gay owned or gay friendly. Although Highland Square is sexually diverse and progressive, it is not as ethnically diverse as other parts of Akron. The commercial part of Highland Square is anchored by the historic Highland Theatre. The Highland Square Neighborhood Association works to maintain the character and atmosphere of the area. Every summer the association promotes and operates PorchRokr Music and Arts Festival, a festival featuring local artists, performers and musicians performing on residential porches and lawns and drawing well over 5,000 people to the neighborhood.
More on Highland Square: Real Estate | Data
5. West Akron
Median Income: $35,209
Median Home Value: $79,044
Median Income: $43,654
Median Home Value: $96,157
7. Merriman Valley
Median Income: $47,363
Median Home Value: $121,286
Famous residents such as John S. Knight, Senator Charles Dick, presidential candidate Wendell Willkie, industrialist Paul Litchfield, and Alcoholics Anonymous founder Dr. Robert Smith, as well as the founders of the Goodyear and Firestone rubber companies, have lived here in the Merriman Heights portion. Located between Memorial Parkway to the south and Portage Country Club, and Sand Run Park to the north, Portage Path on the west to the train tracks east of Bell Ridge Road, Merriman Heights consists of homes built between 1911 and the present and is one of Akron’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Beginning with the construction of Stan Hywet Hall in the early part of the 20th century, it has long been known as ‘Rubber Baron Heights’ because all of the great captains of the rubber industry had their homes here. While its age is apparent via the quality of architecture, Merriman Heights remains as pristine as the day it was developed. With Cuyahoga Valley National Park minutes from its doorstep and the best public schools in Akron, Merriman Heights remains one of Akron’s premier neighborhoods. Homes generally start at 5000 square feet and can reach 21,000 square feet, such as Stan Hywet Hall. Most having been constructed between 1911 and 1930. A subdivision called Merriman Woods of late-midcentury-modern multi-level homes cascading down the hill from Merriman Road was built in the mid to late 1970s, and contains homes with sizes starting at around 3000 square feet to upwards of 8,000 square feet. House styles in the Heights vary from the French Norman, Large Colonial, and Georgian to Tudor, Spanish, and Renaissance Revival styles, many with indoor pools and situated on wooded lots.
More on Merriman Valley: Real Estate | Data
Median Income: $52,652
Median Home Value: $124,040
Situated at the intersections of Market Ave, Exchange St, and Hawkins Ave. Wallhaven is a commercial and rental residential district which houses many of Akron’s original and unique points of interest such as: Swensons Hamburger stand, here in its original location offering some of the best burgers in Akron owing to its secret recipe for hamburger meat; and Ken Stewart’s Grille, one of Akron’s finest dining experiences. You will also find many essentials here such as banks, bagels, Dry Cleaners, Pharmacies, a Robek’s smoothies shop and many others. The Subdivision of Sunset View is full of large older houses equal to the size of those found in Merriman Heights and is bounded by Storer Ave and Delia, to the East and South, and Exchange to Elmdale on the North and West. Developed mostly between the early 1920s to the mid 1930s. It’s Akron’s third premier vintage Housing neighborhood After Merriman Heights and Fairlawn Heights.
More on Wallhaven: Real Estate | Data
9. South Akron
Median Income: $25,366
Median Home Value: $60,389
10. Goodyear Heights
Median Income: $41,474
Median Home Value: $74,838
As early as 1910 Frank A. Seiberling, founder and then president of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., realized how detrimental the housing shortage was to his workers and his company. Even though labor was abundant, Seiberling believed that the transient nature of the workforce cost the company a great deal. Training wasnt cheap, and the cost of constantly retraining new employees was proving unmanageable. To solve this problem, Seiberling proposed purchasing a large parcel of farmland half a mile from the Goodyear factories. The board was not convinced. The company felt that it was too risky to get involved in the intimate affairs of their employees. However, Seiberling was so committed to the project that he bought the land himself. Seiberling chose a rural plot of land just northeast of Goodyears main plant.
More on Goodyear Heights: Real Estate | Data
Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of Akron
If you’re measuring the neighborhoods in Akron where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious, here are the worst places in Akron:
- University Of Ohio Akron
For more reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods In Akron
|16||Elizabeth Park Valley||3,630|
|20||University Of Ohio Akron||8,025|