Top Akron Developer to Design Proposed Home of College of Business Administration
Kent State University has selected Akron’s Signet Real Estate Group to lead the design phase of the marquee building of the first phase of the Kent Gateway Plan – the proposed new home for the College of Business Administration.
The project is part of the university's Gateway to a Distinctive Kent State, a $1.2 billion master plan to transform the Kent Campus over 10 years. The new College of Business Administration building will anchor the transformation of the Front Campus along East Main Street, which will include a signature gateway to the university, additional green spaces and a new parking deck.
At its Sept. 12 meeting, Kent State’s Board of Trustees approved a $3.2 million contract for the design phase of the project, which will begin immediately and culminate in the summer of 2019. The Board must approve further next steps for the project at future Board meetings.
Signet brings more than 20 years of experience in successful development and facility management solutions in the areas of healthcare, higher education, research, public-private partnerships and strategic infrastructure. Since its inception, Signet and its family of companies have successfully managed and currently have in progress more than $4.5 billion in real estate development and construction throughout the U.S. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio and with leadership and expertise in the areas of project structuring, capital formation, operational investment and management, they tailor strategy and resources to meet each unique opportunity.
“We are excited for the opportunity to create a new, iconic College of Business Administration building that will create a collaborative learning environment for business students from all over the world,” says Kevin Belt, vice president of development at Signet.
The proposed building includes a variety of classroom and learning laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, study and gathering spaces, and common areas that will encourage greater collaboration among students, faculty, staff and business leaders. The new building will model the type of learning environment that best supports students who will become the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.
“The innovative design presented by the Signet team appropriately reflects the success and pride of the college and its alumni, by creating an environment that emphasizes forward-thinking, educational best practices to prepare students for business careers of the future,” says Deborah F. Spake, Ph.D., dean of the College of Business Administration.
Signet was chosen from four finalists as offering a vision with the best overall value and most cost-effective approach for completing the distinctive project. As part of a P4 approach (public-private partnership plus philanthropy), Signet is developing a variety of innovative financing options including philanthropic opportunities to offset project costs. This forward-thinking model includes significant naming opportunities to recognize the university’s donors for their philanthropy.
“Kent State’s use of a P4 approach to developing the project provides a creative development solution not previously utilized for a building of this type,” Mr. Belt says. “We thank Kent State for this opportunity and look forward to working closely and collaboratively with them to bring this project to reality.”
Signet has assembled a team of experienced professionals to assist in the delivery of the new College of Business including a design team of Perkins + Will and The Collaborative Inc., a construction team of Turner Construction and Ozanne Construction and an engineer team of Scheeser Buckley Mayfield, Barber Hoffman and CESO.