We had our weekly downtown projects meeting yesterday and all our partners — Kent State University, PARTA, Fairmount, and Pizzuti — shared updates on the progress of the respective moving parts that in 9 to 18 months will have to seamlessly come together.
A daunting task to say the least, but the meetings keep us on track, and they double as problem solving and group therapy sessions that re-charge us for another week of project surprises and hiccups.
For me, the weekly team meetings have re-affirmed the notion that there’s strength in numbers — whether it’s tapping into the group’s cumulative brain-power to find work-around solutions for a seemingly insurmountable problem or sharing a mini-celebration moment when another milestone is passed on the journey. Progress seems more likely to follow whenever we plan, think, talk, argue and cheer together.
These days everyone touts some partnership or other — which in concept is great — but in reality a lot of the collaboration talk seems long on words and thin on real comittment. There’s good reason for that. Genuine partnerships only work when everyone has skin in the game and everyone is willing to put the partnership ahead of the individual partners. That’s a price tag that most people aren’t willing to pay.
Folks will nod their heads and sign agreements to create partnerships but few really put their money where their mouth is. Rare is the partner that says I’m willing to pay more, even though I’ll get less than what I wanted, for the benefit of all of us. That’s the true test of a partnership. And that’s the test that the downtown project has passed with flying colors.
For the downtown project, there’s been check points along the way where one partner or another could have dug their feet in and took a stand for their own gain but time and time again, I’ve been surprised by how committed this team is to the partnership. I think it’s a credit to the character of the people representing each organization and it’s also a function of the project itself — we all understand that there is no project for any one of us, without all of us, period.
Once you realize that, it makes the decision points easier to navigate on behalf of the team.
Besides the 150 or so new employees from Davey Tree and Ametek that will be in the office space of the project, Fairmount recently shared a list of the retail tenants that have already signed-on to the project:
And here’s a look at where those stores would go from the latest version of the base site plan for the mixed-use and hotel/conference center blocks: