Kent State professors may get luxury apartments before long

Jillian Kramer

There’s a reason professors don’t live in dorms.

Developer Dan Siegel believes it’s the same reason most professors don’t live in Kent. That’s why he’s looking to build a new apartment complex across from Eagle’s Pointe designed specifically for area academic professionals.

“My research has shown that professionals at the university do not have a safe apartment complex in which to live because of the surrounding undergraduate community,” Siegel said.

In order to answer this problem, Siegel has asked the city of Kent to allow him to build a luxury complex, complete with two to three bedrooms and two full baths in each apartment or townhouse, granite countertops and hardwood floors. Siegel estimates that rent on the apartments will exceed $1,000 per month.

The only catch is that the new complex would violate three of the city’s zoning codes. Siegel has asked the city to allow him to build anyway, asking for variances in density, courtyard and parking requirements.

“Mr. Siegel has asked to construct a complex with 84 dwelling units,” said Gary Locke, plans administrator for the city’s community development program. “By our codes, you need to have 10.5 acres to do that; he only has 8.5 acres. All units must face a central courtyard, which the plans do not provide for, and parking must be 20 feet from buildings, and several parts in the plan are closer than that.”

Despite the problems of the project, the Planning Commission approved Siegel’s proposal, and the Board of Zoning Appeals will review the proposal at its next meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19 in the council chambers.

Architects Ronald Kluchin and Mark Cohen of Ronald Kluchin Architects are “looking forward to the project,” Kluchin said, and plan to begin building shortly after the proposal is passed.

Siegel said he is hopeful of the outcome of the Sept. 19 meeting and looks forward to opening the complex by next fall.

“If the proposal isn’t passed, it’ll just kill the project,” Siegel said. “If it’s not passed, it will force us to have a smaller project where we can’t provide the level of amenities we would like to. But the city seems very for this project, and I believe it will be a big plus for the city itself.”

The public may attend the Sept. 19 meeting, Locke said, in order to express its opinion on the complex.

Contact correspondent Jillian Kramer at [email protected].