Welcome Home to Your Kent Neighborhoods
With tree lined streets, sidewalks, neighborhood schools and parks, Kent feels like home no matter where you’re from.
Kent offers a great mix of downtown living, charming turn of the century homes, and all the modern conveniences of new suburban centers in neighborhoods that are as diverse and surprising as the people that live in them.
Each neighborhood brings a look, a style, and a personality all its own – offering unique places to do what you do best.
Those neighborhood comments come from a new City of Kent Neighborhoods Guide that was developed to promote the names, places and faces of Kent’s many unique neighborhoods.
The idea of a City of Kent Neighborhood Guide came from the adage that “to know us is to love us” and the belief that the more people know about Kent’s neighborhoods the more excited they’ll be to live here.
If they already live here, the Guide might even instill a stronger sense of neighborhood identity and neighborhood pride.
It turns out that some of Kent’s neighborhoods are well organized, some are loosely connected, and others aren’t really organized at all. We hope that by working together we can change that.
A vibrant downtown is great but it’s neighborhoods that make a community a place people want to call home and that’s why over the last 10 years Kent City Council has put a lot of focus on adding ways to better protect neighborhoods and preserve the small town neighborhood feel that is unmistakably Kent.
The Guide tries to highlight the best of Kent’s neighborhoods with maps, photos and friendly neighborhood descriptions. Here’s a few samples:
The Davey Neighborhood
Steeped in tradition, the historic Davey Neighborhood is home to many of the most notable homes in Kent. Built in the mid to late 19th century, these homes exemplify a charm that never goes out of style. Majestic trees, glimpses of former historic brick streets, and classic period architecture mix to create a neighborhood that is unequalled in personal touches and tradition. A neighborhood school, and a short walk to the river trails and downtown, has put the Davey Neighborhood at the top of the list for most desired locations for Kent families of all ages.
The Vine and Summit Street Neighborhoods
Nestled along the eastern edge of the Kent State University campus these classic “college town” neighborhoods offer a great mix of rental and owner occupied properties that are home to an internationally diverse mix of faculty, students, and residents that enjoy small town charm with a global village feel. Tucked between Kent State University and the University Shopping Plaza, these neighborhoods are ideal for people that want to live where they can walk to the store, to campus, or to nearby downtown Kent.
The South End Neighborhood
The South End Neighborhood holds a special place in Kent history as home to many of the early trades-workers that built Kent into the largest rail yard between Chicago and New York. The rail yards have come and gone but the neighborhood remains a culturally vibrant community with some of Kent’s most diverse groups sharing neighborhood churches, parks, and back yards. Quiet streets and affordable homes in walking distance to the Cuyahoga River, community parks, shopping, downtown Kent, and the Kent State campus makes the South End a timeless destination.
The Riverbend Neighborhood
Prominently located along the banks of the Cuyahoga River, Riverbend is a premier suburban styled neighborhood with natural and architectural beauty in abundance. Convenient neighborhood kayak and canoe access to the river and a trailhead connection to the Portage Hike & Bike Trail, provides residents with unparalleled outdoor recreational opportunities out their back door. This remarkable cul-de-sac community is across the street from the Kent Roosevelt High School making it a top choice among families with school aged children.
The University Heights Neighborhood
University Heights is a showcase for Kent’s famous tree-lined streets, mature landscaping, and well maintained homes in a quiet neighborhood that has been the choice of University faculty and families for decades. The short walk to campus makes the commute to work feel like a walk in the park with the occasional deer sighting and plenty of Kent’s iconic black squirrels to round out the neighborhood’s natural habitat. Best of all, the remarkable tree canopy provides summer shade and unbeatable fall foliage.
The Crain to Main Neighborhoods
The Crain to Main Neighborhoods are some of the most active and vibrant neighborhoods in the City. With downtown Kent at one end of the neighborhood and Kent State University at the other, there’s always something going on right around the corner. The streets closest to campus tend to be home to more college students while the north side of Crain Avenue attracts more families and retirees. There’s something for everyone in the Crain to Main Neighborhoods which is why it has been so popular for so long.
The Guide features 16 of Kent’s larger and more commonly identified neighborhoods but we know there’s plenty more and we welcome your input. You can download the guide or contact Harrison Wicks in the City Manager’s Office at (330) 676-7500 for hard copies of the Neighborhood Guide or to share your favorite neighborhood story.
As I’ve mentioned previously, Kent City Council is rolling out some community wide initiatives over the next couple of years — One Kent, BiCentennial Plan Update, Zoning Code Update — that will provide greater opportunities for neighborhood input and more neighborhood based planning.
We figure the more we can do now to help neighborhoods see themselves as neighborhoods and think like a neighborhood the greater the probability for success of those initiatives.
In the big picture, the Guide is one of a series of steps we’re taking to help residents feel more connected to their City which we hope will lead to more engagement, and result in stronger, more livable neighborhoods.
I think that’s a goal we all share.