With all the news focusing on the progress of the NEW Kent State University hotel (rendering below) in downtown Kent, it might be tempting to try and overlook the status of the old hotel in downtown Kent, but try as we might, it’s prominent location, size and historical importance makes it too important to dismiss.
The good news is that the building was purchased by the City last week, and now, for the first time in 30 years we’re in a position to perhaps change the fate of this historic landmark and restore it’s faded glory.
As the picture suggests, that will be easier said than done. The building is showing its age, both inside and out, and it will take a lot more than a little TLC to get it back in shape — but with all the good things that are going on downtown, I can’t think of a better time at trying to attract investment interest in the building than right now.
The City didn’t buy the building to get in the real estate business or to flip the property for a profit. Our goal is to find a buyer who shares our vision for what the building could be, and happens to have the capacity and financial wherewithal to take this challenge and write a happy ending to this story. The building deserves it.
We’re already about 20 years behind schedule so the sooner we can bring a credible investor to the table the better, and I hope to have a workable sale no later than the end of the year. It’s no small challenge and everyone will have their due diligence to do but I still think it’s reasonable to set an aggressive schedule and go after it full speed ahead in order to make up for all the years of lost time.