Kent Planning Commission unanimously approved the signage for developer Ron Burbick's restoration of the old Kent Hotel, now known as Acorn Corner.
Michelle Hartman, vice president of the Burbick Companies, said the project was receiving about $2 million in tax credits from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, which influenced the sign plan of the redevelopment.
"We did our best to minimize the signage and keep the historical integrity of the building," Hartman said.
The hotel, located at the corner of Main and DePeyster streets, will feature two small bracket signs, with one advertising first floor tenant Buffalo Wild Wings and another advertising a wine and jazz bar in the basement. Hartman said the hotel will also feature: two tenant directories, a historic marker, small signs on the front of the building for third floor tenants and a canopy sign on the front door advertising Buffalo Wild Wings.
She said the Ohio Historic Preservation Office made sure Burbick did not minimize one sign on the building -- a painted sign that will cover about 360 square feet of the western wall of the building.
"Is that necessary?" Planning Commissioner Peter Paino said. "That's a huge sign."
Paino said he knew a painted sign existed on the building after it opened as the Hotel Franklin in 1920, but he did not believe historic images of the hotel showed that big of a sign.
Eric Fink, Kent's assistant law director, said the Ohio Historic Preservation Office likely would not have approved tax credit funding for the redevelopment if Burbick altered the size of the painted sign.
Paino said the discussion convinced him of the sign's importance to the project.
Burbick has said previously that he was only including the painted sign on the building because of the state's requirements. He said he may alter or remove the painted sign after five years, which state guidelines allow.
Hartman said a graphic designer is working on a proposal for the painted sign. It will likely feature the names Hotel Franklin and Acorn Corner, along with the year the hotel opened and was re-opened.
Burbick previously said he expects Buffalo Wild Wings to open at the beginning of April.
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