Kenmore Boulevard soon will be repaved.

A new roof is planned for Kenmore Community Center.

And zoning changes are proposed to preserve the historic design of the business district.

These are a few of the improvements planned for Akron’s Kenmore neighborhood — upgrades that local leaders and business leaders are pleased to see.

“They’re all great projects that need done,” said John Buntin, president of the Kenmore Chamber of Commerce and owner of Kenmore Komics & Games, a store in the business district.

Buntin said driving on Kenmore Boulevard has become like an “obstacle course,” with the potholes so bad on one side that people instead veer onto the other side to avoid them.

The improvements to Kenmore are part of Akron’s Great Street program, which aims to boost public spaces and support commerce in 10 neighborhoods with underutilized business districts.

The city previously announced plans to repave and remodel Kenmore Boulevard as part of a resurfacing program being funded with an income tax hike approved last November.

Akron City Council is expected next week to approve legislation to replace the shingle roof on Kenmore Community Center, which has the original roof from when the center was built in 1989. The legislation pegs the cost at about $65,000.

Council will have a public hearing May 14 on legislation that would establish “form-based” zoning along Kenmore Boulevard to preserve its urban character. Akron’s current business zoning guidelines, approved in the 1960s, require new development to have a “suburban” feel with street-facing parking and buildings set far back from the sidewalk. City leaders say this design isn’t compatible in older neighborhood districts like Kenmore.

“Kenmore Boulevard is a great, historic business district and probably the most intact in the city,” Planning Director Jason Segedy said in a prepared statement. “Business districts like this were largely developed in the early 20th century, with buildings right along the street front. These neighborhood business districts originally thrived on local, pedestrian traffic — and, while retail habits have evolved, we are seeing a return to community-based economic and social activity that is stimulating the revitalization of these corridors.”

The proposed zoning would require any new construction or renovation in the Kenmore business district to match its historic format. This will be the first of several Great Streets in Akron to receive this zoning designation, according to the city.

Mike Freeman, a veteran Akron councilman whose ward includes Kenmore, said he is pleased to see the attention the neighborhood is getting.

He said he thinks the Kenmore Better Block last September, which featured temporary businesses and other aesthetic improvements, helped people imagine the business district’s potential.

“This is more interest to the boulevard by downtown, by private investors, than I have seen in 16 or 17 years,” he said. “That is a very good thing.”

Buntin, whose comic book store has been a staple in Kenmore since 1987, is happy to see development efforts focusing outside of downtown.

“I’m glad the city is looking into revitalizing the business districts,” he said.

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705, swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj.