The Kent Central Gateway project was identified in the City of Kent Bicentennial Plan in 2004, which resulted from a thirteen month planning process that included public input via 45 community meetings. The plan coordinated transportation and land use planning decisions as its findings linked land use, transportation, economic and community development issues.
In 2006, the Kent Transportation Citizen’s Advisory Committee produced a Purpose and Needs Statement for a multimodal facility. The committee was comprised of representatives from Kent State, PARTA, City of Kent, Kent City Council, Kent residents, and other local citizens.
This statement set the groundwork for a feasibility study for a facility that would emphasize taking the bus, bicycling, and walking as convenient and enjoyable modes of transportation in people’s everyday lives. Kent State University commissioned this study, with the City of Kent and PARTA as key stakeholders, and the study was completed in 2008.
The feasibility study found that the best location for the multimodal facility would be between Haymaker Parkway, Main Street, and Depeyster Street. Preliminary engineering and architectural plans, required adjacent infrastructure improvements, and required Environmental Site Assessments were completed in 2009.
On February 17, 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation chose the Kent Central Gateway as a recipient of a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant. More than 1,400 applications totaling almost $60 billion were submitted for TIGER grants throughout the country. The multimodal center was one of two transportation projects in Ohio and among 51 nationwide that received $1.5 billion from the U.S. Department of Transportation.