Our View: Taking pride in downtown Kent

DKS Editors

The city of Kent has really turned things around the past year with renovations to its downtown projects. Only a couple years ago, downtown Kent was only about two streets with a handful of quirky shops and local restaurants. No major construction had been done since the 1980s. Now, it’s really expanded with Acorn Alley II, and new businesses have been trickling into the area over the past year.

So far, about $110 million has been spent on updating the city. This seems like an excessive amount of money, but it’s definitely making a difference to the community.

What’s cool is a lot of the new businesses that have been coming in are of interest to college-aged students and the community, alike. Cosmic Dave’s, Fresco, Georgio’s Pizza, Panini’s and Laziza are all places students, their parents and community members can enjoy. Insomnia Cookies is excellent for those late-night study munchies, not to mention they deliver in the area. UniversiTEES is a great place to take moms and dads who are visiting their students in Kent. And there are still more places to come this year.

National news and other publications have been picking up on the construction in downtown Kent. The New York Times wrote a story on it Tuesday (story here)

talking about how the college town has been expanding its “town gown” relations. They described Kent as a “flourishing 21st-century town.”

Properties Magazine, a Northeast Ohio realty, construction and architecture magazine, also issued a cover story on Kent’s transformation downtown. Kent’s downtown project has been recognized by the Ohio Economic Development Association, winning an award as the “Best Project in the State” for 2012.

As students, we’re lucky we don’t have a boring college town where all we have to do on weekends is drink, play video games or do laundry in the dorms. We can go to Ray’s place to relax with friends, and we can visit local stores like Off the Wagon or the Fashion School store for fun. And our options don’t stop there.

Kent State might not be Northeast Ohio’s “first-choice public university” like the billboards advertise, but what is proven is that we have a great city and community surrounding us.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.