2012 downtown renovations bring in new business

Nick Walton

View 2012 Downtown Kent renovations in a larger map

Nine new restaurants will be coming to Kent by the end of 2012 as part of the downtown revitalization project.

The city and development partner Fairmount Properties announced the restaurants at a press conference Monday along with the signing of Davey Tree Expert Company and AMETEK to 15-year leases that will anchor downtown space.

The two companies will join 11 retail and restaurant properties that will open in locations owned by Fairmount around Haymaker Parkway and South Water Street.

The properties include Bricco, Aladdin’s Eatery, Dino Palmieri Salon and Spa, Shop 42 Clothing, Panini’s Bar and Grill, Dave’s Cosmic Subs, Asian Chow, Nature’s Table Cafe, Einstein Brother’s Bagels, Market Path and Rockin’ Taco.

Randy Ruttenberg, principal of Fairmount Properties, said the remaining vacancies will be filled with specialty retail stories with a focus on non-food uses.

Gregg Floyd, vice president of finance and administration for Kent State, said the project will help attract people to the area around campus.

“If you listen to the food and entertainment that’s being developed as a part of this, it’s an exciting place to go and take dates, go with friends, take parents,” Floyd said. “With a lot of people coming through here, it’s going to make the campus and the community that surrounds the campus more inviting.”

The Davey Resource Group will move from their offices in Stow to Kent along with the companies other corporate entities.

AMETEK is staying in Kent but will move from its old facility on Lake Street to a new facility. As part of the project, city council will have to decide if they will pay $106,000 for the previous AMETEK site.

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller said the city has set aside money to deal with the property following approval from the state that it is a clean, commercial industrial site.

Ruller said the project would not have been possible without partnerships and having support from Kent State and the two companies helps with the revitalization project.

“Kent’s a great place as it is now, but we just want it to be better,” Ruller said. “You see a lot of dirt out there now, but we really are excited about the coming images that you’re seeing and where this is heading.”

Ruller added that having the two companies involved with the project creates a corporate commitment that will provide economic gains for the city.

The announcement comes two weeks after the groundbreaking of the Kent Central Gateway facility. The multi-modal facility is funded through a $20 million federal grant awarded last spring as part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program.

The Fairmount Properties complex is part of the city’s $80 million downtown revitalization project, which is scheduled for completion in fall 2012.

Contact Nick Walton at [email protected].