Kent zoning board approves downtown apartment, restaurant building

By Thomas Gallick | Staff Writer Published:

Kent's Board of Zoning Appeals granted three zoning variances Monday to the developers behind a planned apartment and restaurant building in downtown Kent's redevelopment district.

The variances will allow Cleveland-based Fairmount Properties to start construction on a five-story building on the southwest corner of East Erie and South DePeyster streets. The first floor will house the Italian-themed restaurant Bricco, while the top four floors will contain 32 total units of apartment housing.

The Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously granted variances that will allow Fairmount Properties to:

Build the structure at a maximum height of 61 feet, one foot higher than the zoning code allows.

Build the structure so that 62 percent of it fronts on Locke Lane (formerly Alley No. 5), 8 percent less than the zoning code allows.

Build the structure 17 feet back from the Locke Lane property line, when the code allows no setback.

Adam Branscomb, project manager for Fairmount Properties, said his firm was seeking the variances because the property's unusual slope and location fronting on three streets made constructing the building on budget difficult.

"The development of 'Building C' has been extremely challenging for a number of reasons, mostly involving topography," he said.

Fairmount originally wanted a variance allowing them to build the structure two feet and three inches higher than the code allowed, but Branscomb lowered that request because the developers were able to shrink the planned building by slightly decreasing the size of the apartment floors.

Branscomb said the developers sought the other two variances to create space for three short-term parking spaces, along with dumpster and utility areas. He said these apartments, which will be marketed to professionals and retirees, "won't have any peer" in Kent.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1126 or tgallick@recordpub.com

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