POLL: Best Choice For Downtown Parking Lot

Patch's Visions for Vacancies asks for your input on empty commercial properties.

Last week we asked for your thoughts on what should become of what is currently a parking lot at the corner of West College and Franklin avenues, adjacent to the and .

Below you'll find a poll crafted from your suggestions. Vote for your favorite choice.

Here's a little background on the property:

As part of the deal to the city will take ownership from Portage County of the existing courthouse building and the parking lot adjacent to it at the corner of Franklin and West College avenues.

One interesting element to the area's potential redevelopment is the fact will next to the parking lot and behind the courthouse to .

That means in a few short years the old courthouse, the parking lot and the Buffalo Wild Wings building could all be redeveloped.

RONALD BURBICK July 24, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Although we are adding a gross of about 500 new parking spaces with the parking deck and Ametek/Davey lot, we are losing about 50+ on street spaces, creating about 600 new downtown jobs, and also creating a need for about 250 more spaces for customer parking , which means we have a net loss of about 400 parking spaces. The reason downtowns died and malls flourished was the lack of ample convenient parking. Hopefully we don't spend all this money downtown, and fail to learn from the not too distant past. Enough said.
Teresa K. July 25, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Ronald: I'm not so sure that ample parking was the ONLY reason downtowns started dying out. It was parking, overpriced smaller theme- oriented boutiques, minimal selection, and not having daily household type items vs. the wide variety of stores and items found at malls and the huge sales offered to shoppers at malls. Free ample parking is great but not if you can't find what you need.
David Reith July 25, 2012 at 02:43 AM
What I want downtown is a nice clothing store, a new and clean movie theater, and a grocery store (remember when we had two of them, catty-cornered from each other?) ... and I see nothing like that coming ... my feeling is that the spaces used for working downtown in the day will be vacated for the night crowd so that more parking is unnecessary ... will it really be free? ... and there will be a transportation center so that people will not have to drive downtown, anyway ...
William B Budner ESQ. July 25, 2012 at 06:52 AM
"drive downtown"kent is barely 10 square miles...
Chris (Kit) Myers August 04, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Well, Teresa, downtowns started dying when populations grew and parking got to be a real problem. That was before there were anything like boutiques. You could buy almost anything you wanted in downtown Kent. All daily household needs were available. Once in a while my mother went to O'Neils and Polsky's in Akron. As i remember in the fifties there were five drugstores, four grocery stores, three furniture stores, three menswear stores. two five and tens, a drygoods store, three hardware stores, a smoke shop, a candy store, tailors, doctors, dentists, shoe stores, and I could name more if I wanted to take the time. I don't remember how many women's clothing stores. I remember Gensemer's. Look at an old Kent Courier-Tribune and see all the local merchant ads. Then came University Plaza and the Click store across the border in Stow... both WITH PARKING, more buying power and therefore cheaper prices. The demise of Kent was a combination of things but I must agree with Mr. Burbick that having to drive around for fifteen minutes to find a parking space was the beginning of the end. We still don't have stores downtown to satisfy the average family's basic needs and we never will. That's too bad because shopping downtown and running into friends and neighbors was a social event. We were a real community. I miss it.


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