Fairmount Properties 'Building C' gets Architecture Board Approval

5-story building will feature 32 apartments, restaurant Bricco on ground floor

The newest building proposed as part of downtown Kent's redevelopment received a certificate of appropriateness from the Kent Architectural Review Board Tuesday.

The board signed off on plans for Fairmount Properties' "Building C," which will stand at the northeast corner of Erie and South DePeyster streets and will include 32 apartments with the restaurant Bricco on the ground floor.

Adam Branscomb, a development manager at Fairmount Properties, said the building design has changed somewhat — due to the owners' goals and project budget — since it was first proposed as part of the redevelopment along with the new Davey Tree and AMETEK buildings.

"There's a number of reasons why the design has continued to evolve," Branscomb said.

Ed Fehér, of Glavan and Fehér Architects, which is designing the building, told the architecture board that the evolution led to a fairly simple design with the restaurant on the first floor and apartments on all four upper floors.

"We've constantly been trying to tune this up," Fehér said.

Bricco will occupy all of the first floor, which is about 7,000 square feet total. The 32 apartments will be spread out with eight on each of the upper four floors. The apartments, which will be one and two bedroom units, will vary in size from 680 square feet to 1,200 square feet.

The exterior facade will appear similar to the buildings surrounding it.

Fehér said the brick work on the exterior will come from the same coloring and design that wraps the Davey Tree and AMETEK buildings — the neighboring buildings within the city's redevelopment block.

And the facades facing the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center to the east and Acorn Alley to the north will mimic those projects' exteriors, he said.

"One of the things I constantly try to keep in mind with this building is respect to the buildings around it," Fehér said.  "The buildings in Kent aren't massive. They're broken down quite a bit. And that's what we're trying to do with our building."

The timeline for construction of the building was not given Tuesday. It has yet to go to the Kent Planning Commission for site approval.

The architecture board voted unanimously yesterday to issue the project a certificate with little comment on the design.

Elizabeth Eaken, a member of the architecture board, said she liked the design presented Tuesday better than its previous incarnations.

"I think this responds better to what we've got going on here," she said.

Heidi Shaffer March 03, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Yes, change is happening to our fair city, and we may need to make some changes in our expectations as well. Kent is choosing an urban model of development (vs. big box sprawl or suburban living). There is a reason people who live or work in urban areas are typically more fit. They walk! The joy of walking around in a vibrant urban area will more than make up for not scoring the most convenient parking place every time. I'm thinking of taking PARTA more often when the new transit center comes online...or walking or biking to downtown more often. There are plenty of reasonably-priced cabs for return service if the hour is late or weather turns bad. For drivers, shared resources such as the new courthouse parking lot is only one block from downtown. There are also underutilized parking lots on the north side of downtown, or even using the city hall lot after hours. Part of the plan, including installing meters on main streets, adding more handicap and 10-minute parking, is to mark all parking areas more clearly, including the "free" parking. People who live in high density urban areas usually make the choice to use their cars less and become ok with walking to them. I'm like everyone else when I drive. I look for the closest, but I am getting used to the idea that walking a block or two is not really that unpleasant, even when the weather is cold. In fact, I really enjoy the chance to join the growing number of people on the sidewalks!
Traci Monroe March 04, 2013 at 12:40 AM
That's all well and good Heidi, but what about the senior citizens? Oh that's right,those are the ones Kent/Kent State are trying to run outta town.
Kymberly Seabolt June 12, 2013 at 09:33 AM
Vibrant urban areas thrive without parking within arms length of every doorway. I've just returned from Philadelphia and saw enough mature folk to know that they manage somehow. I hear a lot of "but what about the parrrkkkkiiinnng?" Outcry and wonder if people expect the realization of some utopian dream where they have both a vibrant urban community in an existing (tight) footprint - and mall parking too?
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! June 13, 2013 at 05:20 PM
But this is the midwest. People are large out here. Walking isn't always on the radar.
Roger Owens July 10, 2013 at 08:56 AM
I'm fine with walking a few blocks. My point was not well made. I object to filling every available space with buildings, not adding more parking except one garage, and calling this good planning. It's great to see all the new, pretty buildings, and kudos to many, including Mr. Burbick, for uplifting the image of Kent, but it seems to me that some people are interested in increased revenue or sales without considering ease of access to all.


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