Kent State has been trying to offload almost 43 acres of vacant land in Brimfield for over two years and recently cut the price by 25%, township trustees learned at a meeting this month.
Zoned commercial, the 42.95 acres front state Route 43, then continue back and east, wrapping around The Outpost, with additional frontage on Sherman Road.
The university acquired the land, consisting of three adjacent parcels, in 2001 and 2007. The Portage County Auditor’s Office lists no sale price for those transactions.
Brimfield Trustees recently learned that BHHS Stouffer Realty has dropped the price from $895,000 to $665,725.
Though no study has been done, there are wetlands or at least low-lying areas on the land, said BHHS Stouffer Realtor Tara Kleckner, who is helping listing agent Gary Stouffer. Another challenge for any developer is sewer and water service to the property: The land is in Brimfield Township, which does not supply those utilities.
“Any developer is going to have to figure out if they can make some arrangement to get it from Kent because it’s Kent water out there,” Kleckner said.
But that’s not exactly a given.
Kent’s water service currently ends just south of Meloy Road, and sewer ends at Devon Place, both over a mile north of the acreage. County utilities take over from there, bringing another potential player to the table.
Extending Kent’s utility service would depend on what the development is, and who would foot the bill: the developer, the City of Kent, the county, or a combination of all interested and affected parties, Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said. The frontage on a state highway further complicates matters.
Bowling said he has not been involved in discussion about extending utilities, but if a housing developer buys the land, he questioned Kent’s level of interest.
“A townhome development doesn’t bring a lot of usage and it doesn’t bring a lot of jobs, so it would be a large up-front expense for the utility with little return,” Bowling said.
Brimfield trustees aren’t pinning their hopes on homes, though.
“We need light industrial or even corporate offices, because that’s the only way the township gets payroll taxes, which then helps us ask for fewer levies,” Brimfield Trustee Nic Coia said. “Any of that is going to require water and sewer for it to be more marketable to developers.”
Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.
Townships don’t get payroll taxes, do they?