Renovation plans for downtown Kent

Elizabeth D'Aurora

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Renovation to downtown Kent could affect local businesses.

The businesses in downtown have mixed feelings about the renovation plan.

Paul Braden, co-owner of the local music store downtown, Woodsy’s, is in favor of the possible changes.

“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming. We’re ready for that type of advancement in our downtown.”

Plans include a hotel and a parking garage to better accommodate visitors.

Andrew Schneider, Europe Gyro employee, thinks a parking garage and hotel would increase business.

“I could see it probably going up a little bit,” Schneider said. “More people down in this general area more time of the day so we could pick up.

Some businesses will be greatly affected by the plan and will have to relocate.

Tim Hensley, Parts for Plus manager, fears that it might hurt the business.

“People are just getting to know where we’re at,” he said. “If we’re forced to move that’s really going to mess us up.”

An important part of the renovation to downtown Kent includes the revamping of Erie Street.

Architectural manager Alan Mountjoy explains the potential for Erie Street.

“Perhaps the most important piece her is the reemergence of Erie Street as an important and critical link between the town and the university,” Mountjoy said.

The plan aims to update Erie Street to compliment Main Street.

Mountjoy said, “Our feeling is that, in fact, Erie Street can learn and become a very important second street to Main Street and in fact enrich downtown.”