It’s been great to watch Kent State University, our largest employer and trend setter in the City, get so aggressive with re-making themselves — both physically with construction projects all over campus and figuratively with a focused re-branding initiative. Much of what we sell in terms of the lifestyle here in Kent is a direct extension of what’s happening on campus so as the KSU product gets better, we have a much more attractive product to sell to businesses and residents that want to be a part of a vibrant college town.
The success of the esplanade seems to have sparked a flurry of campus projects that were wrapping up in time for the arrival of this year’s class of students and the campus has never looked better.
Landscaping, new curvy sidewalks along SR 59, pedestrian lighting, campus gateway, and the Rissman Plaza renovation all look fantastic. There’s been a real focus in the design of these projects by Kent State to improve their edges, to show their softer side, and to better integrate their infrastructure with the adjacent City neighborhoods. Rather than turning inward, all the new project work turns the University outward putting it’s best face forward in the community.
This is bricks and mortar commitments, not politically correct rhetoric about town/gown relations, which is why it’s so exciting to be a part of right now. Even the little stuff speaks to a new era in town/gown relations — here’s a short advertising piece that we came across that included references to being a part of the Kent community that I thought was worth sharing: