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No Veterans Housing at Acorn Corner Redevelopment

Developer says huge interest in private apartments at former downtown hotel

Transitional veterans housing is no longer a part of the redevelopment plans for Acorn Corner.

Developer Ron Burbick said the initial plans to have veterans transitional apartments on the fourth floor of the former Kent hotel were changed due to expected delays in financial support from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Plus, there's been excess demand for the planned upscale apartments on the fifth floor, Burbick said.

"They will be replaced by upscale apartments similar to those on the fifth floor," he said. "Efforts continue to identify space for the veterans units at some future date when funding does become available."

The tenants and floor plans for the building are:

  • Basement - Kent Cycle and storage for Buffalo Wild Wings
  • First floor - Buffalo Wild Wings kitchen and bar
  • Second floor and mezzanine - Buffalo Wild Wings family dining tables
  • Third floor - Marathon Financial Services, Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and a community conference room
  • Fourth and fifth floors - two 1,500 square feet or three 1,000 square feet luxury rental apartments per floor.

The project recently encountered delays and is expected to open some time between January and April of 2013.

Laurel Myers Hurst September 21, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Sorry to see government funding delays shut down this well-intended effort. I trust that, in time, Mr. Burbick will see the veteran transitional apartments through. The financial boost provided by the luxury apartments should actual help, not hinder the cause. I'm so thankful for Freedom House and for the veterans who have been devoted to tending downtown gardens all summer. Vets: Your heart for service is exemplary in your enlistment and in your transition!
Jennifer Cannon September 21, 2012 at 03:34 PM
So sad that the VA has failed veterans again.
Laurel Myers Hurst September 21, 2012 at 03:39 PM
It'll come, Jennifer. It just takes longer than expected (as with everything involving a bureaucracy). There is no sense in allowing the fifth floor to sit empty in the mean time (no tenants=no dollars). I'd love to know where vet apartments might be planned in the future.
Jon Ridinger September 21, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I don't know Laura, I'd be surprised if you ever see any transitional housing at this building, at least in the foreseeable future. The article stated that part of the reason was due to "excess demand for the planned upscale apartments on the fifth floor." (the transitional housing would've been on the 4th floor) I always thought that transitional housing a floor away from luxury apartments seemed like an odd placement, so this honestly doesn't surprise me. Doesn't sound like they're waiting for funding to come through; they're just going ahead with new plans. I don't think either floor will be empty long. I have been asked by some ex-Kentites about any news on apartments in this building as they would be interested in coming back, plus I have heard other locals express interest in moving there. There's a lot of interest and really, there won't be that many apartments even with 2 floors. My guess is that there will be about 4 apartments per floor if that. There isn't that much room on each floor.
tammy brode September 21, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Portage County gets $960,000.00 for transitional housing. Record-Courier Staff Report Family & Community Services, Inc. in Ravenna will receive a $960,000 grant to help homeless veterans find housing. The grant is from the Department of Veterans Affairs and is part of its Health Care for Homeless Veterans program. The grant is to help homeless veterans obtain temporary housing with the hopes that they will be able to take over payment of the lease and continue living in the residence after use of VA services, according to U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan. So, why are they claiming due to late funding they will be building "UPSCALE" apart.?? There is a "demand" for upscale apartments. We have had a DEMAND for housing for our VET'S ! Sadly not many have ethcis or morals for the real cause any more. Once they get want their foot in the door, money in hand, they do as they originally wanted to..then blame others for it NOT all coming together as planned !! ?? Now can we have the real story ??
Linda UmBayemake September 21, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Was it the VA or something else like the rent for luxury apts. Unfortunately, the vets are use to being on the back burner. If the promise is kept good if not then that will tell what was important.
Misty Jones September 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM
Disappointing. I can't help but notice the demand for upscale apartments mentioned right after the delay in funding. How much more will it be to upgrade the apartments to upscale? Hey, vets only offered you their lives.
Laurel Myers Hurst September 22, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Tammy, Linda & Misty: Hold your horses. You're talking about Ron Burbick who is, himself, an honorable veteran of the US Navy. He has a LONG track record of supporting veterans and he will get this done! (http://www.recordpub.com/news/article/5107295)
tammy brode September 23, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Ron Burbick might be a vet himself, that means nothing to the Vets that were to be helped now or the ones on a waiting list. It is like someone having good intentions, honestly they are NOT GOOD, if it helps no one, they are just intentions or was it all a "RUSE" ? Once he puts his money where his mouth was, "the plan " for the housing of the Vets and we actually see it in the works, then you can give praise to him but NOT until ! The fruits of his labor currently are for an empty promise to the VETS and "luxury" aparts that are in DEMAND for who ? What role did the housing for the Vets come into play before THE funding & approval for this plan, from each sector ? This could be called a "fraudulent plan", depending on emails, private meetings & dates. Sadly the money for the transitional housing looks like it was NOT good enough, not classy enough, did not measure up to whose standards? There is almost a Million dollars for this in Ravenna, same county last time I checked. I want to see the per person dollar amount and the plans he has for this such development. I want to see the forecast & his business outline he gave to the banks, the government, the city, county and state for it's approval. It is all part of the freedom of info act, when gov money is to be used. This is why our government, county, cities & States are is in such a mess. Please my comments are not meant be projected to or at Ron Burbick but his name is on this.
Laurel Myers Hurst September 24, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Until you get a clue regarding all the things Ron Burbick has ALREADY accomplished for vets (big buck projects already complete) you need to stop questioning Ron Burbick's intentions. Just because the man doesn't trumpet his own philanthropy doesn't mean he isn't doing and hasn't done plenty!
Laurel Myers Hurst September 24, 2012 at 02:14 AM
He's just not the kind of man who is going to sit on his hands until the funding arrives. Mr. Burbick is going to keep rolling. You can expect a future unveiling of additional transitional housing for veterans in this area funded by Mr. Burbick's foundation.
tammy brode September 24, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Laurie: It is not just my right to question, it is my duty to my country, to my state, to my county, to make sure there is NO fraudulant activites going on. I would just love to hear where the projected transitional housing for Vets will be. Mr Burbick as you say, knows all and he must have had a back up plan ! If your Mr Burbick is so great, he would know, would be expecting a delay in such funding, "these things happen all the time" and would HAVE PLANNED for such an event. If he is a big Washington business guy, he knows all to well the red tape, he knew what was what, that is why I am questioning this. Laurie, the more you talk, the more questions I see needing answered. I will save them for later, and by all means, keep on defending him. I will be filing a request for said plans this week.
Laurel Myers Hurst September 24, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Who is Laurie? I see your attention to detail is stellar.
tammy brode September 25, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Laurel, sorry my brian processes letters and number differently than your's. I am proud to be dyslexic and I do have mis-spelled words. I see things most people do not & when people talk, I hear things most people would over look. Have a Super Week
David Urban December 25, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Someone please helpme out here. I am a native Kentite living on the East Coast. Is there a lack of affordable housing for Vets in the Kent area?

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