Vision & History

Although Fairmount Properties was selected as the City of Kent’s development partner in 2008, the planning for today’s transformation of downtown Kent began decades earlier. Studies that date to the 1980’s can still be found that recommend a public-private partnership to eliminate the blight that had settled in the urban due to a lack of investment. So what changed? Unlike the preceding years, a unity of vision emerged among key stakeholders at the City, Kent State, the business community and residents alike which centered on the notion that what was good for the “town” was good for the “gown” and vice versa. Municipal partners led by the City Manager and a committed City Council very astutely set about the task of assembling the land necessary for a redevelopment. Whereas redevelopment in the past had failed due to the difficulties in the private sector of aggregating enough land to make a meaningful difference, now the City invested in prime real estate that was ready for a private partner to design, lease, entitle, finance, and build a College Town experience that could be a national model for small-town, university-anchored cities.