Kent State wants to build a new housing complex bridging the city and campus

The location of the proposed Intergenerational Village in Kent. Kent State University image

Kent State is seeking a property developer to construct a residential complex on the site of the old Allerton Apartments that would provide a new housing option targeting both non-traditional students and the city community. 

The vision for the project is to foster a community that is connected to both the city of Kent and Kent State both “physically and programmatically,” according to a request for qualifications and proposal for the project issued Sept. 24.

The project, called the Intergenerational Village in the request, is expected to cost approximately $120 million and house over 1,000 residents. Neither Kent State nor the city will be investing any capital in the project, university officials said.

Kent State’s overall objective is to work with a prominent real estate developer or development team that would assume responsibility for the financing, design, construction and operation of the property.

Doug Pearson, associate vice president for facilities planning and operations at Kent State, said in an email that there are several examples of this kind of housing project, including La-Roche University in Pittsburgh, University of California-Berkeley, New York University and many others. 

While there is no timeline for the project at the moment, the project proposal indicates that if the developer determines the project should be constructed in phases, the full buildout should be completed within five years of the project start.

The proposed site for the Intergenerational Village is along Campus Center Drive, north of state Route 261 and north of the Kent State baseball field. Portions of the site are currently in use for recreation and wellness programming, including nine holes of the campus’s 18-hole disc golf course. Kent State will relocate the nine holes at the request of the developer, according to the project description. 

The project is not intended to be primarily student housing and is expected to be financially independent from the university. Potential residents could include international students, artists, entrepreneurs, older and married students, faculty, staff, alumni and seniors.

To serve the wide spectrum of intended residents, the Intergenerational Village will offer a variety of housing types. The request for proposals suggests that its proximity to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the single-family neighborhood to the west could attract those who wish to live adjacent to the campus, but in a quieter location than downtown Kent. It could offer a mix of housing types, from less dense housing near the single-family Allerton neighborhood to more dense across from the rec center.

Where possible, the Intergenerational Village will link the university’s academic programs and other resources to the residents.

Interested developers have until Oct. 13 to register for a pre-submission meeting that will take place on Oct. 14. 

Bridget Susel, community development director for the city of Kent, said that after the meeting, potential developers have until Nov. 5 to submit their responses to be reviewed, and Kent State’s Procurement Department will make a selection.

+ posts

Maria McGinnis is a contributing writer for The Portager.

Subscribe for free

Join 5,769 other Portage County residents reading locally owned news. Subscriptions are always free, but you can choose to upgrade later if you find our work valuable.