Crain's Cleveland Business honors three from Akron

Three of the 15 professionals honored by Crain's Cleveland Business in its annual 2012 Women of Note hail from or have strong ties to the Akron area: North Hill native Anne Bitong, executive director of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation; Sue Frankel, vice president of construction at Stark Enterprises, which is developing Portage Crossing in Cuyahoga Falls; and Ali Whitley, president of the Akron Area Board of Realtors. The women were honored Wednesday, July 25, at a luncheon in Westlake.

Akron among “10 Big Bargain Housing Markets”

According to Melissa Dittmann Tracey of the July 25 Daily Real Estate News, home prices are inching up in many areas, but in several metros housing bargains can still be found. The median asking price in June nationwide was $195,000, according to housing data. Of the 146 housing markets that tracks, three areas in Ohio had the lowest median asking prices in June: Akron, with a median list price of $134,000, a year-over-year change of +3.15 percent; Toledo, with a median list price of $109,900, a year-over-year change of -4.35 percent; and the Dayton-Springfield area, with a median list price of $112,500, a year-over-year change of +2.36 percent.

Howard Hanna Real Estate reports consecutive record sales months

Howard Hanna Real Estate reported June closed home sales volume was $815,703,696, the highest ever in the company’s 55-year history. The June volume reflects an increase of 20 percent over May’s record-breaking $687,014,083, according to a company press release. Year-to-date, Howard Hanna Real Estate closed home sales volume is up 23 percent over last year at $2,899,251,912. In Northeast Ohio, Howard Hanna’s year-to-date closed volume is up 23 percent over last year at $1,600,997,655 while closed sales units are up 22 percent at 9,546. The company reported sales of 1,729 more homes during the first half of 2012 than in 2011 and a 4 percent increase in the average price of homes sold in Northeast Ohio. The number of closed home sales transactions in June was 4,298, a 19 percent increase over May.

Gospel Sundays Series at Lock 4

The city of Akron is returning gospel music to downtown Akron beginning this Sunday, July 29, and continuing through Sept. 2, with four Gospel Sundays at Lock 4. The free, two-hour concerts begin at 5 p.m. The concert line-up is as follows:

July 29 – Exalting Him Choir

Aug. 19 – Henry Dunn’s Road to Glory on the Road

Aug. 26 – The House of the Lord Choir

Sept. 2 – Mount Calvary Baptist Church Choir

Lock 4 is located “down under” Bowery Street, adjacent to the city’s popular Lock 3 concert venue, and is connected directly to the Cascade parking garage, which provides direct access to Lock 4 from level two (orange) walkways from Bowery Street. There are also additional entrances to the event through Lock 3. For more information or to participate in the future concerts, please contact Billy Soule, assistant to the mayor for community relations, 330-375-2660 or at

Wednesday concerts at Lock 4;

New this year: mural by Michael Ayers

Downtown Akron opened its Lock 4 stage Wednesday, July 18, with a free outdoor concert by the Frankie Starr Band, followed a week later by the Stingers. Concerts will continue every Wednesday at 7 p.m. this summer. The balance of the lineup:

Aug. 1 – Wanda Hunt

Aug. 8 – Horns and Things

Aug. 15 – Jack Schantz Sextet

Aug. 22 – Peggy Coyle Trio

Aug. 29 – Dan Wilson Group

Sept. 5 – Blue Lunch

Urban ambiance

A new mural devoted to American jazz musicians on the wall of the Akron Civic Theatre, painted by artist Michael Ayers, will enrich the Wednesday concert experience for all.

Urban Eats Cafe will offer food for purchase on Wednesday nights to match the music.

“The response we have received to Lock 4 concerts over the past two years has been overwhelming,” said Dave Lieberth, Akron’s deputy mayor.