|The Akron Beacon Journal,
OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 28, 2010--The pieces are now in place for Kent State's effort to construct a university-affiliated hotel and conference center in downtown Kent.
Kent State trustees have voted to do an exchange of university-owned property on South Water Street appraised at $270,000 for property on Depeyster Street owned by the city and appraised at $280,000.
The city of Kent signed off on the switch earlier this month.
The move gives the Kent State University Foundation ownership of all properties needed to build the hotel and conference center.
The university is working with Pizzuti Co., owned by Kent State alumnus and former university Trustee Ronald Pizzuti, to create an investment entity to act as owner of the development.
The university hopes to begin demolition on the project in September.
As part of the effort to bridge the area between the campus and downtown, trustees this week acquired four properties for $815,000. They are: Kent Campus Rentals LLC at 133 S. Willow St. for $255,000; LKG Corp. and LKG Inc. at 416 College Ave. and 320 E. Erie St. for $165,000 and $170,000 and a property owned by Frank Hornyak at 250 E. Erie St. for $225,000.
The university's effort is part of an $80 million to $85 million redevelopment project in downtown Kent.
The effort includes work by Fairmount Properties to develop a minimum of 75,000 square feet of office space, 56,000 square feet of retail space and 28,000 square feet of residential space downtown.
The Portage Area Regional Transit Authority plans to build a transit center on the northeast corner of Erie and Depeyster streets.
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