The city of Kent and the Kent Regional Business Alliance are looking to resurrect a plan to build a business technology park in the Mogadore Road area.
Long referred to as the business technology park, both entities are again looking for funding to construct the 43,000 square foot anchor building in the Atlantic and Great Western Discovery Park.
The last attempt came in 2008, when the city and the KRBA applied to a $48 million grant fund through the Ohio Department of Development Job Ready Sites Program. Kent was not awarded any funds for what was then estimated to be an $11.5 million project.
The difference between then and now is that the project has an anchor tenant for the first building.
Jack Crews, CEO of the business alliance, said they have a signed letter of intent for an anchor tenant to occupy up to 20,000 square feet of the first building depicted in the architectural rendering. He declined to identify the interested party.
“This is the anchor building to a larger, anywhere from 23- to 40-acre, area,” Crews said.
Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said the city and the KRBA are applying for funding with federal and state agencies, including the federal Economic Development Administration and the Small Business Administration.
“We’re trying to leverage funding sources as it stands right now," Smith said.
The plan, much like it was in 2008, is to construct the anchor building on about a 3.5-acre footprint with anywhere from 20 to 35 more adjacent acres available for business expansion. The KRBA is shopping for land and is in talks with one potential property owner.
The anchor building would serve as an accelerator for businesses currently located in incubator space owned by the city and the KRBA. The accelerator would help them expand and prepare to enter the commercial market — and their own facilities.
Crews said construction is at least 18 to 24 months out depending upon whether funding is available.
"We have been meeting, and we are started," he said. "We are looking at sites."