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New Parking Lot for Downtown Development Project Approved by Planning Commission

122 parking spaces will be enclosed by new retail, commercial development

A new, 122-space parking lot for downtown Kent's redevelopment project got the OK from members of the Kent Planning Commission Tuesday night.

The bulk of the spaces, 105, are committed to serving office personnel at AMETEK and the Davey Resource Group, which are the of the $30 million redevelopment project. All 122 spaces will be available to the public after 6 p.m. on week nights and all weekend.

Cori Finney, the city engineer in charge of the parking project, said making the parking available on nights and weekends helps promote the shared-use idea city planners are encouraging for downtown parking.

"We’ve agreed to make sure there’s (40) spaces available for Davey and 75 spaces available for Ametek out of those 122 spots," she said.

Between 60 and 70 employees of the Davey Resource Group will relocate from Stow to occupy about 13,000 square feet in Fairmount's "Building A," which is at the corner of South Water Street and Haymaker Parkway. AMETEK will move all of its roughly 80 employees from its Lake Street facility to downtown and will occupy about 40,000 square feet in Fairmount's "," which will stand on Erie Street facing Acorn Alley II.

The parking lot is situated in the middle of the block bordered by Haymaker Parkway, South Water, South DePeyster and Erie streets. Commercial and retail development will line three of the streets — excluding Haymaker Parkway — and is being built by Fairmount Properties contractor Premier Development Co.

Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said the parking lot is part of the downtown redevelopment master plan that connects the city and Fairmount Properties project to other projects, including , the and the .

"Time is somewhat of the essense for getting this parking lot in because Davey Tree is still planning on being in this space by July," he said.

Smith said workers at both corporate tenants will be issued parking permits for the lot. The parking spaces will be managed during week day regular business hours by the city's parking enforcement officer.

Finney said the lighting in the parking lot will replicate the existing street lighting in downtown Kent that consists of 14-foot tall single poles with one bulb at the top. The lighting style got positive feedback from commission members, who approved the project unanimously Tuesday.

"It’s almost like a street light in just a residential development," commission member Peter Paino said.

"I’m glad you decided to go ... more pedestrian scale” on the lighting, commission chair Sean Kaine said. "That was a concern for me."

Kaine also asked about bicycle racks and encouraged city planners to consider including them. Bike racks are not in the plans, and there are no requirements in the city code for inclusion of bicycle racks in parking lots.

terri1103 December 07, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Yes, I think bicycle racks are very important! Anyway we can encourage people to take a break from their cars is a good idea.
Laurel Myers Hurst December 07, 2011 at 03:36 PM
The current problems with "territorialism" in downtown parking will continue, evidentally. At least maybe we will solve the grading issues and mis-matched lots. Also, considering the openness and visibility of the southern and eastern facades of the Davey and Ametek buildings from Haymaker, they won't look like the "back" of the buildings right? Please tell me SOMEONE thought about that.
O.F. Kent December 07, 2011 at 03:43 PM
All I can say is Win The Future....or something like that.
Tom Simpson December 07, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Very glad to see the spaces will be available for patrons of The Kent Stage and other entertainment related businesses in Kent. Good planning!
Geoff Thompson December 07, 2011 at 06:03 PM
I'd like to encourage bike racks. One of the big advantages of "legacy Kent" is that the distances are very bikeable. Many of the finer old residences in Kent (hopefully suitable for those working in the new buildings) are at a distance that is just a little too far to walk, but would make an easy bike ride to work.
MOST HATED PERSON ON PATCH December 07, 2011 at 08:32 PM
The parking spaces will be managed during week day regular business hours by the city's parking enforcement officer. that guy in the jeep.... rofl....
demo rat December 08, 2011 at 04:23 AM
Perhaps with the additional parking we can remove the parking from the bridge - one of the ugliest "improvements" this town has seen.
Jon Ridinger December 08, 2011 at 06:05 AM
The parking on the bridge is mainly for the offices in West River Place (the former Bissler building). The reason council authorized parking on the bridge was so the old Bissler building would meet the city's parking code for minimum number of spaces and could be redeveloped. Basically, it was a necessary evil. The only way the bridge parking will be eliminated is if a parking deck or other lot is built adjacent or very close to West River Place.

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