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2 More Houses Sold for Esplanade at Kent State

University to pay $377,500 for 2 properties in neighborhood west of campus

is almost done buying land west of its campus so it can extend the Esplanade pathway into downtown.

The university's trustees approved spending $377,500 to buy two houses in the neighborhood west of campus where the university has been expanding since 2009 in order to build its Esplanade extension.

Kent State President Lester Lefton said there are just a few more properties in the neighborhood that the university is interested in.

"None (are) critical to us … in the sense that we won’t be able to move forward," Lefton said. "We have the properties necessary to build the Esplanade, so we will not be held up."

The properties, their owner, the purchase prices and appraised values are:

  • 329 E. College Ave., Quatro Novus LLC, $197,500, appraised for $205,000
  • 230 S. Willow St., Quatro Novus LLC, $180,000, appraised for $185,000

The amount approved Wednesday by the trustees would bring the university's total spent buying land in the neighborhood west of campus since 2007 to more than $7.5 million. That total excludes the $3.28 million expected for construction costs to actually build the pedestrian and bicycle pathway.

The university owns 33 properties in the neighborhood west of campus, excluding today's buys, and four more properties are pending transfer or state approval.

Physically, the Esplanade will leave the campus and weave a wide pedestrian path towards downtown lined with open landscaping through the neighborhood. The Esplanade will terminate at Haymaker Parkway near .

The project has been as the university bought properties in the neighborhood west of campus so its on-campus leg of The Portage Hike and Bike Trail could continue its meandering ways into downtown Kent. It ran into a slight complication this month while city and university officials try to determine if has historic ties to the city and should be spared demolition.

Lefton said the university is interested in just a few more properties in the neighborhood to help create a buffer around the Esplanade.

"And we’ve done conversations with those owners," he said. "We can wait 20 or 30 years, the university will be here, if somebody doesn’t want to sell us their property. We will not be held up."

jc March 15, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Nice to know the university has all this money to spend on buying up all of Kent. Too bad they still had to raise tuition 3.5% anyway!
Teresa K. March 15, 2012 at 05:04 PM
When all this is done, it still wont be worth the money and effort they are making. lol @jc: yep, that tuition keeps going up and the students arent getting a darn thing extra for their money.
Chris (Kit) Myers March 15, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Yes they are, Teresa. They are getting an eighty foot wide esplanade with a one hundred fifty foot buffer zone. What student wouldn't be willing to pay a little extra tuition for that?
Sally Burnell March 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM
With steadily rising tuition, room and board costs at Kent State, putting further hardship on students wishing to pursue a higher education that is a needed economic engine for our state, I question the need for this "Esplanade" whose sole purpose, it would seem, is to facilitate students going downtown to get drunk on weekend nights. I have heard it said that it is too hard for them to do so now, but having lived among them as I do for nearly 30 years (I live on University Drive), I can attest to the fact that students don't seem to have the slightest difficulty in making their way downtown to the bars on weekend nights, nor have they for the past 100+ years since the University began. If room, board and tuition continue their escalation as they most alarmingly have for too long now, there won't be enough students who could afford to come to KSU and even bother to use the Esplanade. Since this was built primarily to ease students trips downtown to the bars, my next question is, who will clean up the inevitable plethora of beer cans and bottles that will likely litter it after weekend nights of partying? Will there be adequate security for women who choose to walk it at night? I foresee a lot of problems with this that were obviously not carefully considered or thought out and that could cause the City a lot of headaches. Good luck with that. This may be something like the bypass that we come to regret later.
Roger April 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Interesting... who's this Quatro Novus LLC, and how did they come about owning these propertires prior to the buy out by KSU?

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