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Akron, Ohio has had its ups and downs. Once the tire capital of the world, the city suffered the de-industrialization common to many midwestern cities. Now it is looking to bounce back, and the city is supporting the effort. reports:

Private developers are busily buying up 35 acres of city-owned land to build 349 homes in four developments, some so dense that 15 houses will fit on an acre. The first of the homes will be on the market later this year or early next, carrying price tags of up to $280,000.

It’s all single-family housing.

A mix of 156 homes and townhouses are planned for Guinther Park, a turtle’s crawl from Lake Nesmith in Kenmore. Priced between $175,000 and $200,000, 90 homes with golf course views will replace old Perkins Middle School at Mull and Hawkins avenues. Along Hickory Street near the Towpath Trail, once-weary developers are looking at 42 ready-to-build lots. And on a hill above the Akron Zoo, not far from the John Brown House, 51 upscale units are planned on tree-lined fields where mansions and carriage houses once stood in the heyday of Akron’s industrial past.

The jolt of homes is a direct response to Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan’s residential tax abatement program. Launched last spring, the tax incentive for builders and homebuyers locks in the value of property before it’s developed. Even if a developer plops down a $300,000 house, the property value — and property taxes — stay flat for 15 years.

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