The man who helped save Kent’s old train station in the early 1980s is now involved in an effort to redevelop the former Portage County Municipal Courthouse.
Kent attorney John Flynn’s plan is to move his law offices into half of the old courthouse and rent the rest out as office space. Kent Economic Development Director Tom Wilke says of all the proposals the city received to redevelop the building, Flynn’s was the only one that would bring more professionals to a downtown that now has plenty of new amenities, but needs office space.
“There was some talk and some interest in maybe putting another restaurant in there or perhaps retail. And all of those would have been fine. ... But we do think that the highest and best use of this building is professional office space, and that’s why we’re so excited that John has decided to take this step.”
Wilke says bringing in more professionals bolsters city income-tax revenues. The old courthouse was abandoned four years ago after a new one was build a few blocks away.