On Friday, April 3rd I had a chance to meet with Ohio’s Stimulus Czar, Mr. Ronn Richard, along with team Kent (including Dr. Lefton, Dean Heisler, Dan Smith, Jim Bowling and Mayor Fender) to pitch the investment opportunities ready for the taking in downtown Kent. It was our chance to lay out the vision and plan for downtown Kent that we argued could be an economic engine for the region. Here’s the pitch.
We told Mr. Richard that Kent is ready to deliver on the economic promise of a vibrant university city. As home to Ohio’s 3rd largest university, Kent is rich in the raw material of the new economy and we have much to contribute to the economy and quality of life enjoyed in northeast Ohio.
We went on to explain that the University and the City share a sense of urgency to be a catalyst for an economic revival that leverages the assets and productive capabilities that are well within Kent’s reach to create jobs, build new technologies, spawn entrepreneurship, and be the kind of place people are proud to call home in northeast Ohio. Simply stated we want to put Kent’s assets to work for the region as we compete for Ohio’s future.
Our visit was prompted by our need for stimulus funds to capitalize this project beyond the tipping point and into construction. $10 million dollars is the critical investment threshold needed to make this project move forward immediately. With that level of investment we won’t have to wait for the financial markets to rebound; instead we will be a part of the rebuilding process for sustainable economic growth irrespective of the highs and lows of business cycles and financial markets.
That was the verbal pitch; here it is in writing:
Last, but certainly not least, here’s the master-plan blueprint that we provided for Mr. Richard: Downtown Blueprint
We’re competing with some 23,000 other legitimate needs in Ohio so we’re realistic about our chances for funding. But still, sitting shoulder to shoulder with the University’s leadership I know we made an impact on Mr. Richard. Only time will tell if we can translate that impact into dollars and cents.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The Kent Investment Opportunity