Revitalization of Kent's Downtown Now Underway
"A major centerpiece that helps revitalize downtown with vibrant activity that benefits the community overall" is a vision moving closer to reality. In September 2011, the City Council approved a lease with the option to purchase agreement for its City Center property to Goodman Real Estate Inc. of Seattle. The developer, both well known and with a proven track record, began demolition of the site's unfinished parking structure October 3, 2011. Golden sledge-hammers in hand, the demolition was celebrated by downtown business owners, City Council members and curious onlookers as Rhine Demolition began removal of this downtown "eyesore" making way for a new project.
A Beautiful Plan in a Prime Location
Goodman Real Estate and its architect, Studio Meng Strazzara, plan to construct a five-story, mixed-use development consisting of approximately 164 urban-style apartments. Other highlights include:
- One and two-bedroom units available at market rates
- On-site parking for the building's residents
- 3,700 square feet of retail space (type of retail is undetermined)
- 35 public parking spaces for use during normal business hours
- The existing footprint of Town Square Plaza will remain unchanged.
Adjacent to Town Square Plaza, the property located at Fourth Avenue and West Smith Street is the “50-yard line” between Kent Station and the downtown Historic District. This much needed residential development will enliven the area and provide downtown merchants with regular customers that don't exist today.
The two-year lease provides Goodman Real Estate an option to purchase the City Center property at any time during the term of the lease. For consideration of the lease, Goodman agreed to demolish the existing parking structure and pay $100,000 to the City. Upon exercising its option to purchase, Goodman will pay the City an additional $802,000 in two installments; the first being approximately $540,000 at closing and the balance, which is contingent upon project success, would be paid at a point after the project is built and fully leased.
The lease/option structure allows the developer to take control of the site immediately and complete demolition of the unfinished parking garage right away. Under a more traditional purchase and sale agreement, there would be an extended period until closing, thus delaying the start of demolition until design is completed and permits were obtained.
Originally slated to be a 355-stall parking garage for a hotel with condominiums and retail space, work on the project stopped in May 2007 when the prior developer's lender terminated the construction loan. After which the property had been entangled in legal battles. While the City never owned the project, it held a first position Deed of Trust as a result of an agreement between the previous developer and the City to maintain public parking on a portion of the site. The City secured the property, at no cost, through foreclosure October 1, 2010.
Goodman Real Estate was selected as the preferred developer of the site following a competitive process and review by a panel including the Mayor, City Council members, a representative of the Kent Downtown Partnership and city staff.
For more information about the development
Brad Reisinger, Project Manager, Goodman Real Estate