The opening day for the Kent Central Gateway project has gotten the cold shoulder from Mother Nature.
Officials at the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority had hoped to open the parking deck in downtown Kent this month, but freezing temperatures have stopped some of the necessary finishing work, officials said.
"Some projects, like sealing the concrete and striping, need heat -- four to five days of 45 degree weather. It's too cold to do it right now," said PARTA Marketing Director Frank Hairston.
Hairston said mid-April is more likely for the opening of the three-level, $26 million facility.
The Central Gateway is a keystone for Kent's downtown redevelopment. It is bounded by Haymaker Parkway, Erie and South DePeyster streets.
The facility will have transit bus bays, provide additional downtown parking for Kent residents and visitors with 365 parking spaces, have space for street-level retail businesses and is expected to bring about 700 jobs to the city
Directly across Haymaker is where Kent State University's extended Esplanade will bring the campus to the downtown. Adjacent to the parking facility is KSU's new hotel and conference center.
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