Esplanade extension plans moving forward

Elizabeth D'Aurora

Kent State recently received permission from the state to purchase

$1.2 million in property that will be a big part of the extension to

the University Esplanade.

The University bought this property with plans to extend the Esplanade to downtown Kent.

“The properties that have been recently approved for purchase are

basically on College Street,” said Economic Development Director Dan Smith.

Kent State is working with the city of Kent, with funding from an Ohio Department of Transportation grant, to extend the Esplanade to a $20 million Transportation Center being built downtown. A hotel, conference center and Acorn Alley II are also in the plans.

Once the extended Esplanade is complete, all of those areas will be

connected to the Kent State campus.

“Really in the master plan of what we’re trying to do with our

downtown Kent project is to connect the western end of campus to

downtown,” Smith said.

Smith said that the city intends to break ground on the project in

March of 2011, with the project coming to an end after about two years.