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LOOK: Inside Acorn Corner's Renovation

Developer Ron Burbick gives tenants, media tour of in-progress renovation of former old Kent hotel downtown

The renovation of Acorn Corner should be finished in mid March with new anchor tenant Buffalo Wild Wings ready to start serving beer and wings in the historic building.

Developer Ron Burbick gave short tours of the renovation to business owners, city officials and local media Thursday to provide an update on its progress.

Burbick said they are on a tight time frame to finish because any delays could lead to a loss of part of the federal and state historic tax credits granted for the renovation.

Originally Burbick had hoped to finish the project this month, but that had to be pushed back because of delays associated with the historic windows and new elevator shaft.

Doug Fuller, of Fuller Design Group Architects, which is overseeing the renovation, said Buffalo Wild Wings is under contract to be in their space by mid March to start training their employees.

"They want to be operating by (March) 15," Fuller said. "It could all be finished around that time."

The sports bar and grill will occupy the first floor and second-floor mezzanine spaces with enough room to seat between 250 and 300 people.

The rest of the space will be occupied as follows:

  • Basement - Kent Cycle and storage for Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Third floor - Marathon Financial Services, Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and a community conference room
  • Fourth and Fifth floors - Four luxury apartments varying in square footage with a private guest suite of about 600 square feet available for special guests

Burbick said none of the four private apartments are spoken for yet. He has a large list of interested, potential tenants, but he's holding off on choosing residents until one of the apartments is completely furnished and available for viewing.

The apartments will include bamboo flooring, custom countertop surfaces from Kent firm Cambria, and each unit will come with a flat-screen TV "at least 50 inches," Burbick said.

Rent in the apartments will range from about $1,200 to $2,000 per month depending on the size of the apartment.

David Wright, of Metis Construction Services, which is managing the construction work, said the finish date for the renovation depends on the project obtaining all the necessary building permits from the city.

Workers started framing the separate spaces on all five floors in October, and since then electrical and other utility work has taken over. Drywall material is stacked on almost every floor waiting to be installed.

"They've got to come in and inspect everything before we can start walling in the spaces," Wright said.

He said at 20 employees of Metis and another 10 sub-contractors are working on the project on any given day.

Most of the exterior work is finished, but large elements such as the windows have yet to be installed.

And though much of the interior remains unfinished Thursday's tour still elicited excitement from those who walked through the damp and cold building.

"I never thought we would see this," Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said.

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  • VIDEO: Exterior Renovation of 'Acorn Corner' Starts
  • Burbick: 'Acorn Corner' Fully Occupied
  • Burbick Reveals Tenants for Franklin Hotel Restoration
  • PHOTOS: Interior of old Kent Hotel
  • City Sells Old Kent Hotel to Acorn Alley Developer
  • City Manager: Old Hotel Sale an 'Investment'
Pam November 02, 2012 at 12:52 PM
thanks, Mr. Burbick, for a sneak peak into the new Acorn Corner. My family and I are eagerly awaiting yet another great addition to the City of Kent!
Kasha Legeza November 02, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Very exciting!
Linda Guyas November 03, 2012 at 01:07 AM
We relocated from Kent to Florida in May due to a family situation, but we check out the local news on kentpatch. It is so wonderful to see the downtown development continuing. I worked downtown for 24 years and saw the Kent Hotel go through many transformations, most of them bad. It is really nice to see it coming back to life. I know that when we come back to visit, we will probably not recognize downtown Kent. We were fortunate to have been able to enjoy Acorn Alley. Ron Burbick is truly a visionary and believer in Kent. I hope the development continues and that people take advantage of what is going on downtown.
Matt Fredmonsky November 05, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Thanks Linda, I'm happy to hear that we're doing a good job keeping you updated on all the work downtown! You might find a few of our topic pages interesting. The pages update whenever a story is written about a particular topic, such as "Downtown Kent" or "Acorn Corner." Here are two of those topic pages: Downtown Redevelopment: http://kent.patch.com/topics/Downtown+Redevelopment Acorn Corner Renovation: http://kent.patch.com/topics/Old+Kent+Hotel

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