Our view: If you rebuild it, they will come

DKS Editors

After years of neglect, downtown Kent is in the process of receiving a much-needed facelift in order to help revitalize the area. One of the initial development projects, Acorn Alley, has already brought new businesses and consumers into Kent, and more projects are in the works.

With all the redevelopment and changes planned for downtown, one area that isn’t expected to change anytime soon is the old Kent Hotel on Main Street.

In the foreseeable future, the property will continue to be boarded up, fashion smashed-in windows, be unoccupied and remain an eyesore. And that’s a shame.

In order for downtown Kent to be totally revitalized and respectable, something must be done about the Kent Hotel.

For years the city and the property’s owner have been at odds over safety violations and fines. In the grand scheme of things, this ongoing battle is childish on both sides and does nothing to better the city.

If the city is serious about changing the landscape of downtown, they must revoke the hefty fines placed on the property’s owner. On the flipside, if the fines are revoked and the building remains vacant and decrepit, legal action must be taken in order for the city to obtain the property.

At this point, leaving the deteriorating property vacant cannot be an option. The city has taken great strides in revitalizing downtown, but the Kent Hotel is truly holding the area from great potential. Bottom line, the property must be redeveloped, and it must be done soon.

Nothing says class like a decrepit, run-down building in the midst of new business and visitors to the city.

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