Planning Commission approves ‘Akorn Alley’

Sarah Nusinow

Plan is third phase of redevelopment

The Kent Planning Commission quickly approved phase three of the downtown Kent project Nov. 4 after Ron Burbick, who proposed and is funding a majority of the Phoenix Project, gave a short thirty-minute review about “Akorn Alley.”

Phase three consists of tearing down the purple house on Main Street next to Flashers Cleaners (the building considered phases one and two). A new two-story building will replace the old house that has been standing since 1893. A sign will hang between the two buildings that reads: “Akorn Alley.”

“We’re very pleased with this entire project, it will be a great asset to the community,” Kent Stage owner Tom Simpson said.

The building known as phase three will have full-length glass windows on the first floor that can be opened in the spring and summer. Thirty-three percent of the leases in this building have already been signed. The first floor leases are mainly for restaurants, and the second floor leases are for retail. Burbick said many store owners are vying for spaces in these refurbished buildings downtown.

“Phase one and two are 100 percent leased,” Burbick said. “This is a very exciting time.”

After a few questions from Planning Commissioner Sean Kaine regarding lighting and sign size standards, a few community members stood and congratulated Burbick saying how pleased they are with this project and how excited they are for the community.

“I’m so glad this is actually getting done. We’ve all been waiting for this,” Planning Commissioner Dave Wise said.

Contact public affairs reporter Sarah Nusinow at [email protected].