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UPDATE: NYTimes Highlights Downtown Kent's Redevelopment

Newspaper interviews city manager, Kent State president about $110 million transformation

The spotlight keeps shining on Kent, as the latest operator of the high beam is the New York Times.

The newspaper known for its hard-hitting coverage of national politics dedicated some space Tuesday to the partnership between the city and Kent State University that has spurred $110 million in redevelopment downtown.

Click here to read the article, titled A Partnership Seeks to Transform Kent State and Kent.

If you've been a regular reader of Kent Patch the past two years, you won't find anything new in the article that you haven't already read here. Interviews with Kent City Manager Dave Ruller and Kent State President Lester Lefton depict a stronger town-gown relationship.

And of course each of the major downtown redevelopment projects are summarily introduced.

Yet it certainly says something about Kent and Ohio's second-largest public university when such a large news outlet digs down for the story of downtown Kent — a city with about 29,000 residents and another 30,000 or so students who attend the Kent campus.

Ruller admitted that being interviewed by a media outlet with a national circulation was a bit nerve-wracking.

"But it's a project that I know pretty well so it's not hard to get me started talking about it; the hard part was getting me to stop talking about it," Ruller said.

Overall, the city manager said the piece shone a positive light on the city. But he did have one criticism.

"I just wish the reporter had included the long list of partners that I mentioned in my comments to him (including City Council) rather than just focusing on me and Lester," Ruller said. "But with the story hook seeming to be the reconnecting of the May 4 town-gown divide, I guess I understand why he focused on us."

Other recent spotlight operators for downtown Kent have included: Sen. Sherrod Brown, who toured the ongoing redevelopment last month; Properties Magazine, which ran a cover story in December about the project; and the Ohio Economic Development Association, which named the redevelopment efforts the best project in Ohio for 2012.

For regular updates on downtown Kent's redevelopment, bookmark Kent Patch's Downtown Redevelopment Topic Page.

Roger Owens February 08, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Really a shame NYT did not mention Mr. Burbick and his foundation. It was/is a three legged collaboration, not just two!

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