Kent State cancels plans for a housing development on campus


Nicole Jones, Collaborative NewsLab

Terry Schwarz, director of the Cleveland Urban Design Coalition; Doug Pearson, Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Operations and Co-Chair of the Intergenerational Village (IGV) Committee; and Bridget Susel, Community Development Director and Co-Chair of the Committee.

Owen MacMillan, Reporter, The Portager

Kent State has canceled plans to develop a mixed housing project on the Kent campus near the REC center.

“At this time, Kent State University will not be moving forward with the Intergenerational Village project,” Dana Lawless-Andric, associate vice president of university outreach and engagement, said in an email.

Lawless-Andric did not specify why the university had decided to move away from the project, but the decision came a few weeks after a second public meeting in which the university was hit with questions about public accountability and environmental and community impact.

The university had held two public meetings and formed a committee of residents, representatives from the city and others to plan a mixed-housing development at the former site of the Allerton Apartment complex.

They had even put out a request to developers for proposals on the project and received three responses: from Signet Real Estate Group, Bridging the Gap Development Group and the Superlative Group. It is not clear if the university will still accept and review these proposals, which were due by March 11.

“Currently, the university will focus on the Phase One projects of the Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State master plan,” Lawless-Andric said. “These Phase One projects include the new addition of the Aeronautics and Engineering Building and the construction of Crawford Hall, which will be the new home of the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship.”

The city of Kent had been closely involved in the exploration of the project, largely through Community Development Director Bridget Susel.

Members of Kent City Council had spoken about the need for both lower-income and senior housing, which the intergenerational village was intended to supply.

“I’ve got to applaud the university for setting aside the intergenerational village,” said council member-at-large Roger Sidoti at a Jan. 19 city council meeting. “I think (KSU) operated with integrity and I hope they reintroduce it at some point in the future with a lot of citizen input and maybe we see something even better than what they decided to set aside.”

Owen MacMillan is a reporter with the Collaborative NewsLab at Kent State University, producing local news coverage in partnership with The Portager. Contact him at [email protected]