Multi-use facility breaks ground downtown



Drew Paker

The downtown development continues to progress after Fairmount Properties broke ground Tuesday morning on a multi-use facility.

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Fairmount, a Cleveland-based development company, held a ceremony 9 a.m. Tuesday at the intersection of South Water and Erie Street at the future location of a mixed-use retail, residential and office complex.

Construction of the new development will begin seven to 10 days after Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony and will conclude in Fall 2012.

Speakers for the event included Kent State University President Lester Lefton, Mayor Jerry Fiala, Randy Ruttenberge of Fairmount Properties, and various other representatives.

During his speech, President Lester Lefton said the project would bring the university and the City of Kent together.

“We have become a family in a way that we’ve never been a family before,” Lefton said in the speech. “We have forged a real public-private, city-university relationship.”

The 185,000 square-foot facility will feature various retail outlets, restaurants, residential units directed at adult professionals and office spaces. It will also house The Davey Tree Expert Company’s headquarters and operations for AMETEK Incorporated, an electronic instrument manufacturer.

“A lot of people know AMETEK as a global business—we serve customers in over 60 different countries—but Kent is our home and it is wonderful to stay in our home,” said Matthew French, vice president of AMETEK.

Retail and restaurants to be included in the development are Aladdin’s, a Lebanese restaurant; Bricco, a pub-style eatery; Dave’s Cosmic Subs; Panini’s Bar and Grill; Palmieri Salon; Shop 42, a clothing boutique; The Market Path, a home decor location; Einstein Bros. Bagels; Rockin’ Taco; Asian Chao Restaurant; and Nature’s Table, a health-conscious wrap and smoothie spot.

Randy Ruttenberge, a principal from Fairmount Properties, said he believed the development would bring potential students to Kent.

“One of the things that is more important than ever are the surroundings outside of the four walls of campus,” Ruttenberge said. “We believe this development will act as a recruitment and retention tool to help bring students to Kent’s State’s campus.”

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Drew Parker at [email protected].