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Sign Guidelines for PARTA's new Transit Center Approved

Kent Architectural Review Board signs off on design specifications for downtown parking deck, bus transfer garage

New retail and commercial tenants in PARTA's Kent Central Gateway transit center will have some strict guidelines to follow on how they advertise their business to the public.

The Kent Architectural Review Board approved a set of sign guidelines Tuesday that dictate how commercial tenants in the $26 million transit center can hang signs on the building's facade.

The guidelines essentially spell out where a tenant can put their sign, put limits on size of the sign and dictate how it can be lit.

Bryan Smith, project manager for PARTA overseeing construction and design of the transit center, said the transit agency will hire a property management firm to find and oversee tenants for the available commercial spaces on the first-floor of the transit center.

Smith said the tenants would submit their sign proposal to the property manager, who would then approve it or suggest modifications to ensure it meets the sign guidelines approved by the architecture board. The tenant would still need to obtain a sign permit from the city, which would also check the design for compliance with the guidelines and city code.

"At this time we don't have any tenants signed," Smith said. "This is in preparation for those tenants."

The commercial spaces, about 21,000 square feet in total, face Erie Street.

The guidelines approved by the architecture board stipulate the signs must be lit externally by an overhanging, gooseneck light. The signs cannot be lit internally. And any window graphics can't exceed more than 20 percent of the window space.

Smith said developing the guidelines was meant to avoid having to have each individual tenant appear for review at the architecture board.

Doug Fuller, a member of the architecture board, said they could always review individual sign proposals if special circumstances arise.

Chris (Kit) Myers October 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM
This is a wise decision. Besides, a scantily clad girl under an overhanging gooseneck light, luring potential customers into a store, beats an internally lit sign any day of the week. Now if we could only get rid of those glaring stop lights that go from red to yellow to green to yellow to red...
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! October 18, 2012 at 02:55 PM
More gooseneck lit signs with poor visibility that make Kent into another cookie cutter town? Oh boy. And Kent keeps attacking Jimmy Johns because, despite the fact they are the busiest eatery in downtown, their sign isn't boring and hard to see. Still the same Kent I've always known. Don't let the new construction fool you. It's still "development unfriendly" Kent.
Chris (Kit) Myers October 18, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I agree. The hoops to jump through dreamed up by UNELECTED boards and commissions, are incredible. One of the latest is having to have $750,000 and 4000 square feet to get one of those transfer-in liquor licenses, which precludes someone who doesn't have that from opening a nice little tavern. Of course that can be appealed - another hoop. I think the elitists don't want regular people in Kent.

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