Though it is home to the second largest campus in Ohio’s state university system by enrollment, this small Cuyahoga River city spent much of the last four decades neglecting, if not deliberately retreating from, its history as a college town and its place in the annals of the Vietnam War era.
But a $110 million mixed-use development that is under construction at the city’s center is remedying that.
The project — a melding of more than 500,000 square feet of office, retail, residential and public spaces — is unfolding across a four-block, four-acre section of downtown. City and university leaders said the development, the largest downtown construction project in Kent’s 208-year history, will outfit the city with new destinations that suit contemporary lifestyles and spending patterns.
The project will also shift the entertainment and business center a few blocks south from the city’s aging core and closer to Kent State University.