A former industrial site that once housed a hotel or tenement for canal workers in Kent is scheduled to again be used for lodging, coming “full circle,” according to Mike Sichenzia, project manager for Nypano Co. LLC.
Tom Myers II, owner of Nypano Co. LLC, plans to build a four-story, 110-room Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham hotel at Summit Street and Mogadore Road, near the Cuyahoga River and John Brown Tannery Park.
Myers said he’d like to see the hotel open before the 2020-21 school year at Kent State University.
The site, according to Myers, is a little more than 3 acres at the south end of downtown Kent and is zoned for commercial use. Myers owns the property.
Myers said he does not think the hotel would compete directly with the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, which is downtown. Kent City Manager Dave Ruller cited competition as a concern. Myers said Kent is short on hotels compared with other Ohio college towns.
“Athens, Oxford, Bowling Green — these have anywhere between five and eight hotels in them,” Myers said. “We took a look at the private business sector, whether it’s Davey, Ametek or Smithers Oasis. It seems like there’s a base from the private sector that could use more hotel space.”
Site plans for the project show a pool, conference room and landscaped grounds.
Part of the design is a park-like area at the north end of the site that would flow into Franklin Avenue and Kent’s Farmers Market, he said. This area would include walking paths and terraced gardens. A bank of existing trees buffering Franklin Avenue residents from a portion of the hotel site is shown on plans.
Project Manager Sichenzia said the main entrance for traffic would be off Williams Street, by the post office.
Kent Senior Engineer John Giaquinto said he’s reviewing the traffic plan for the proposed hotel. He agrees the hill and railroad tracks on Summit Street present a challenge for anyone developing the site.