The Clean Ohio Council approved a grant award of $1,084,403 from the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund to the city in order to finish environmental remediation work of the 15-acre, 288,000-square-foot industrial complex on Lake Street. The city agreed to buy the property from AMETEK for $106,000 to help move the firm downtown as part of the redevelopment work.
The overall goal of the project is to abate the on-site asbestos, remediate on-site contaminated soil areas and redevelop the site into a new commercial or industrial facility, according to state and city officials.
Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said the city has a 25 percent match requirement and will have to contribute about $270,000, but that's less than the $500,000 city officials had previously earmarked for the project.
"We hope to have the remediation work under way in the very near future,” Smith said. “I would hope by next year at this time we’re moving to put jobs back in the facility. For a 90-year-old industrial property it’s really not as bad in comparison to other sites and facilities that operated in that time frame."
Smith said AMETEK has shortened its time frame for moving to downtown Kent and now plans to be in Fairmount Properties new "Building B" on South Water Street in early September.
The firm's existing site on Lake Street will become the home of a new light industrial or commercial use, Smith said.
The city is partnering with Fairmount Properties, J&E Development and The Ohio Lighthouse, a non-profit organization that provides educational, vocational and employment opportunities for the blind and vision impaired.
"In essence (Fairmount Properties) is AMETEK’s new landlord in downtown Kent but will also be helping us to remediate and put the existing AMETEK facility into adaptive reuse," Smith said.
Kent was one of 20 applicants for round 12 of the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund awards with requests totaling more than $32 million. The state awarded $20 million in grants.
This grant follows Kent's award in round 11 of the CORF for the former RB&W site on Mogadore Road.