A couple of weeks ago (3/1/13) we celebrated another milestone in the redevelopment of downtown Kent as the shovels officially hit the dirt breaking ground on Fairmount’s Building C.
For those that are keeping track, Building A is the Davey Tree building, Building B is the Ametek building, and Building C will be the Bricco’s Restaurant building — with 32 upscale apartments up above for good measure.
Building C will be a poured concrete building, rather than the steel structure buildings like A & B, so once the rough grading of the site is finished later this month there will likely be a parade of concrete trucks at the site pumping up the mix and over the forms to create the foundation and the walls of this latest addition to downtown Kent.
I’m sure pricing of steel vs. contract factored into the decision to build a concrete building but I also know that Fairmount wanted to take care of their future apartment tenants by making sure that each floor of the building was sound-proofed and nothing keeps noise out like layers of concrete.
All the new bricks and mortar make a great first impression but their just great bones, next we need to work on all the connective tissue. Right now each of the new building owners are busy planning the all important finishing touches. I’ve seen plans being circulated for new landscaping beds, flower boxes, benches and patios.
I caught up with our City Engineer who was deep in a meeting with the Davey Tree employees that we hired to help design and plant the public landscaping around the downtown project. I really liked what I heard around that table — lots of ideas to give the project the kind of look that would make the City and Davey Tree proud.
The Davey guys said it best, “we’re the best landscaping company around and this is our front porch so we’re pretty motivated to get this right.” Nothing like enthusiasm to go along with a bucket truck full of talent to produce great results. I can’t wait for spring to pop so we can cut these guys loose.
On the other side of SR59 the contractor is scheduled to come back and start laying the pavers the week of March 25th. The placement of the pavers requires decent temperatures so they’ve had to be held back but we’re hoping by that final week of March the temperatures will be suitable for the sand mortar mix that is used to level the pavers and keep them in place.
Lastly, the City and University are partnering up with a public art planning firm to lay out a blueprint for how and where we can work-in public art to offer a little taste of Kent culture throughout the project. The firm came highly recommended from the folks that we visited with in the uptown section of Cleveland who used art to set a great tone in their project. Obviously we hope to do the same.