Land development agreement approved

Ryan Friend

Kent City Council met Wednesday to discuss the Land Development Agreement between Kent State, the Pizzuti Companies, city consultants and negotiation teams. All members of the council were present at this session, which was in regard to the building of the downtown economic development project.

Dan Smith, Kent’s economic development director, said as of now there is a verbal agreement between all the partners involved with the project. There hasn’t been a written agreement made yet.

City Manager Dave Ruller said, “It’s another milestone to our ultimate goal.”

With the construction already beginning downtown and the project requiring the ratification of the agreement within two weeks, council has agreed to use their emergency clause to ratify the LDA as of their next meeting. (Click here to see a rendering of an alternative design for the Gateway project.)

Part of the agreement includes using tax incremental financing to help fund the project. According to Smith, the project as a whole will generate $705,000. The project’s committee used the tax incremental system to determine that the city’s school system will receive $215,000 and Kent will receive $419,000.

“There’s some change left over. Both the school and the city have agreed with the tax incremental financing,” Smith said. “I am very happy. We went to the school board meeting and they came to one of ours. Everyone was very hand-in-hand.”

Heidi Shaffer, 5th Ward representative, asked if the project would be pulled should state budget cuts be made.

Smith told Heidi that the Multimodal Transportation Center was already paid for.

Contact Ryan Friend at [email protected].