What Would Fit Well in Former Book Store, Funeral Home

Patch's "Visions for Vacancies" asks for your input on vacant commercial properties

Last an extension of the , the former funeral home on East Main Street across from Kent State University is for sale.

Patch wants to know: what do you think would be a good business for that location?

The empty building at 1005 E. Main St. was formerly owned and operated by Wood Kortwright Funeral Home, which sold the property for $500,000 to DuBois in 2005, according to the Portage County Auditor.

DuBois operated the space as an extension of their book store briefly until the main location closed last summer.

The building has a little more than 6,000 finished square feet and stands on a lot that has a little more than 1 acre and is zoned commercial.

Tell us in the comments what kind of a business or use you think would thrive at the location.

Brek Paton Jacobson June 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Kreigers or a hardware store. A place like Kreigers would blow Acme's terrible produce section out of the water, and sorry, but Carter Lumber is pretty limiting as a hardware store. Let's please have something useful to all of us.
Jeff Clapper June 11, 2012 at 08:55 PM
That location isn't big enough for a Trader Joe's, but since when is Trader Joe's upscale. Their food is usually less expensive and usually much higher quality than any major grocery store. They just happen to locate their stores in upscale areas in this region that draw larger numbers of shoppers.
Jeff Clapper June 11, 2012 at 08:58 PM
How about relocating Wendy's to that lot, which isn't ideal. That would allow the redevelopment of the corner of Lincoln and Main. The former Robin Hood lot is too small to use especially considering the lack of on street parking.
Paxton Crenshaw June 11, 2012 at 10:03 PM
i was goading, as kit would say. i just love watching all of you shout "trader joes" anytime this question is asked.
Jon Ridinger June 11, 2012 at 10:16 PM
While I don't dispute the prices, Trader Joe's is definitely considered upscale, especially compared to other stores of similar sizes (which are typically convenience stores or discount grocers). Upscale doesn't just mean more expensive, it can also relate to the appearance of stores, types of products offered, demographics, and/or location. There's a lot more to their reasoning for locating in upscale areas (not just in Ohio) than just large numbers of shoppers; it's large numbers of shoppers *who will regularly shop at their store*. I would still love to see a Trader Joe's in Kent, but I don't think it will be happening anytime soon. Just read an article from North Carolina where Trader Joe's was planning an expansion and it talked about the median incomes in the immediate areas around some of the nearby Trader Joe's locations. All were MUCH higher than Kent. MUCH. Saw another article that said "With the opening of Whole Foods and the possibility of a Trader Joe's...that begs the question if there is a need for this many upscale grocery stores here in Wilmington."
Paxton Crenshaw June 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM
@jon, trader joes isn't upscale any more than aldi is upscale. just because something is small and offers limited products doesn't mean it's upscale - and i laugh at the notion of trader joe's "ahoy matey" theme meets your "appearance" qualifier. i'd call whole foods, upscale, however, and akron's west point market, too (although they could be even MORE snobby and upscale if they spelled it "pointe")!
Pat June 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM
This peice of property was built my Tinker's. The funeral home was on the main floor and the Dick Tinker's lived upstairs and the basement--well I am sure everyone knows what went on down there! When Dick Tinker died the property was sold to I think Woods Funeral home. I personally think the city caters to KSU--we need to take care of our seniors first. A senior center would be perfect there. If you build they will come. We need a good center as Streetsboro is to far to drive to and so is Ravenna, when your eyes are bad or if the roads are bad we can take Parta! Please stop wanting everything for the students.
Kentite June 12, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Harold and Edna Tinker ran the funeral home and lived upstairs in a very fine apartment. There were two other apartments upstairs, one of which was reserved for an embalmer/assistant funeral director. The basement was/is huge and had rooms for college students who paid low rent in exchange for their coat and tie help with some of the funerals. The embalming/ preparation took place on the main floor next to the entrance from a seven car (or more) garage. The building dates from around 1950 and was built to very high standards suitable to Harold Tinker. The Tinkers were very nice people. There was no "Dick Tinker" associated with that business. It is hard to understand how such a valuable building has been allowed to drift downward so far. The essential structure is quite formidable.
sally June 12, 2012 at 02:06 AM
It would be a good location for the Kent Chamber (visible and plenty of parking) which might include a Welcome Center Cafe, that could be managed and operated by retired (not necessarily "senior") Kent residents. It might be a nice town/campus focal point. I also like the idea of moving Wendy's there, to allow development of the corner of Main/Lincoln.
Chic-chick June 12, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Baker's Should move there! since his business fits everywhere.
sally June 12, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Now that I think about it - why not make it The Pizza Palace and have all the pizza places around town set up there - food court style. One stop shopping for any "brand." Lots of parking for delivery driver's cars and that would open up their current locations for more than one new business development.
Laura June 12, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Great idea Sally lets help Make the obesity epidemic in this country worse...trader joes would be the best idea. I'll bet plenty of students and other people would go! You've got 2 Crossfit boxes in kent which guarantees them business. What do they have to lose?!?
Jon Ridinger June 12, 2012 at 04:05 AM
@Paxton- I'm not the only one who calls it "upscale". Google "Trader Joe's Upscale". It's considered an upscale store because of what types of products it offers and its main demographics. I didn't declare it upscale; everyone else did. Here are a few more examples, along with the previous ones I mentioned in my last post: 1. "In 1998, Trader Joe's moved to expand its specialty food business and began going upscale by regularly stocking imported items at higher price points." --Trader Joe's Company History (http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/trader-joe-s-company-history/) 2. "Privately-owned Trader Joe's offers upscale grocery options..."Trader Joe's Co. Inc." (http://www.privco.com/private-company/trader-joes-company) 3. "Upscale grocery store offering a unique variety of preservative-free and organic foods and wines at reasonable prices." --Trader Joe's - Midtown (http://www.zvents.com/charlotte_nc/venues/show/1082625-trader-joes-midtown) 4. "The popular grocery brand is known for it’s smaller, boutique-styled stores and upscale products..." --Trader Joe's opens in Naples (http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-02-12/features/sfl-trader-joes-opens-first-florida-store-in-naples-20120210_1_grocery-store-first-florida-location-west-palm-beach) 5. "Trader Joe’s has made quite a name for itself as an upscale, low-cost grocery store." --The Great Grocery Hunt (http://www.diggingdeepcampaign.com/the-great-grocery-hunt-pt-6-trader-joes.html)
Paxton Crenshaw June 12, 2012 at 01:00 PM
it's great to know there are other people out there who think just like you, jon!
Mary Reith June 12, 2012 at 06:11 PM
How about Baker's Towing and Automotive?
Sarah Skibiski June 12, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I totally agree with Roger. I would LOVE to have a really good local hardware store again! I miss Kent Hardware.
Matt Fredmonsky June 12, 2012 at 06:54 PM
The Kent Area Chamber of Commerce will be one of the commercial tenants in Acorn Corner, AKA the old Kent hotel.
Delbert D. Flowers June 15, 2012 at 04:47 AM
I have the perfect idea! How about moving Campus Book And Supply down there, so Starbuck's doesn't have so many unsolvable parking issues once school starts back up again in the fall? It's right along the same lines as what was there before, and buses, trucks, and cars won't have to be fighting for the same parking space for 15 minutes?
Delbert D. Flowers June 15, 2012 at 04:56 AM
I was hoping to come across an opportunity to express my thoughts on that.
Genevieve Luken June 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM
how about a wood fired oven pizza shop and bar by night and a artisan bakery/cafe by day?
h June 17, 2012 at 01:09 PM
It is a beautiful building, and with so few quality historic buildings available, tearing it down would be a shame. I vote no on the wendys and pizza ideas. I have been inside there and it needs work but could become a nice location for residential, retail, or commercial. I would just like to see it respected. I doubt student housing would respect it. I do like the idea of a community center. There could be day activity rooms upstairs, sitting and reading rooms or light music downstairs, a cafe for income, maybe small weddings or other events could rent it out. Just care and respect are my bottom line requests.
Ann Kardos June 18, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Thanks, Bob! 6 moves is enough for us! :) That is a great space with excellent parking, though and would be ideal. Hope to see you at Logos soon. Have a great day! ~Ann K. @ Logos
Ann Kardos June 18, 2012 at 04:28 PM
A nice family restaurant would work well there.
Misty Jones November 20, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Flip flop much?
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! November 20, 2012 at 04:44 PM
"Or better still, why not create another green space, since there are those in the city who pine for more of that?" Talk about irony.
Delbert D. Flowers November 21, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Boy, you sure don't leave anything out, do you!? LOL I totally agree with all the points you were trying to express in your short story, but I was trying to express the idea, that there are too many businesses on the block where Starbuck's is at, and that the necessary people should consider moving the book store to a different location, so that Starbuck's could have all of their original space back, and the old bookstore locatio be demolished. That old funeral home is a beautiful building, just like that house over there behind Starbuck's that KSU foundation had torn down. They should have moved that house, instead of the one they're fighting over now. I absolutely hate the fact, that Kent State University, and it's president, thinks they have a right to just buy up everything in town, and do whatever they want with it, and plaster th KSU logo all over town. Whatever happened to giving another perspective property developer their FAIR share of that industry? Ron Burbick is doing a great thing, but I think all the other developers around are missing out on their chance to have something to do with updating everything else around Kent. I've got a lot of great ideas, andI just hope I get my chance, because I know everybody will appreciate my input.
PXC November 21, 2012 at 03:56 AM
i want the dunkin' donuts to go in exactly where it is planned, exactly as planned. couldn't happen in a better location!
Delbert D. Flowers November 22, 2012 at 06:51 AM
Might as well do what Amanda says, they've already started tearing it apart anyway.
David Reith December 06, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Given the site's history, I would suggest that a place of worship be housed there - church, mosque, temple, synagogue.
Delbert D. Flowers December 06, 2012 at 11:34 PM
There are already too many churches around here, and if I hear another thing about Trader Joe's, I swear I'm gonna flag the comment!! I want everyone to realize, that Starbuck's is always having parking problems, especially every spring semester! So if Campus Book And Supply moves oof and away from the two blocks that span E. Main and S. Lincoln, and E. Main and S. Willow, then the parking problems automatically disappear! It's incredibly difficult, for the PARTA bus, to drop me off at Starbuck's and stay on schedule when they have to wait for everybody in the parking lot, to back out and pull around so they can leave, and make room for the bus to park.


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