Ohio.com staff

The Stow-Kent Shopping Center, which opened in 1959, has been a concern for city officials for the last 15 years because of its deteriorating buildings and pavement, acccording to the Stow Sentry.

Ppreliminary plans to bring it back to life were drawn up over a year ago, and now the time has come to begin the project.

Mayor Sara Drew and Planning Director Rob Kurtz estimate the project will cost around $15 million.

The site will transform from a traditional shopping center into a mixed-development area, which will include residential apartments, retail establishments, and maybe even a clubhouse.

The Stow Fire Department is also interested in using several of the empty buildings for training, including a controlled burn to help teach fire fighters how to control a building fire. One controlled burn will utilize a sprinkler system, which the fire department will turn into an instructional video for businesses on the importance of fire safety systems in the workplace.

Mayor Drew expects plans to be in play before the year is up, though a hard date has not yet been set.

For more information, visit the Stow Sentry's website.