University to preserve Main Street Starbucks building

Starbucks on East Main Street Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.

Dylan Reynolds

Kent State will not demolish the Starbucks building on Main Street.

President Beverly Warren told a group of community members the university would find a use for the 88-year-old building, said city councilman Jack Amrhein.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do to it, they haven’t decided, but that building will be preserved,” Amrhein said.

University administrators announced the decision at a public meeting, and they shared updates on the Kent Campus Master Plan, a long-term program to upgrade campus facilities.

Community responses to the master plan’s interactive website favor preserving the building. According to the site, the final draft of the plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees Dec. 13.

The trustees will vote on the plan in March, said Shay Little, the vice president for student affairs.

“That master plan won’t necessarily speak to the purpose, long term, of that location if that business that’s occupying that building leaves,” Little said. “But there has been a lot of discussion in the master planning process about that structure itself.”

Kent State purchased the Main Street property early this year for $2.2 million. In addition to Starbucks, the property contains Campus Book & Supply.

City Council previously recommended the university preserve the building, and Amrhein said sentimental memories influenced that suggestion.

“There’s not huge architectural importance in that building,” he said. “People are sentimentally attached to that building. That’s why we really requested that it be preserved.”

Dylan Reynolds is the business and neighborhood reporter. Contact him at [email protected].