The city of Kent will hire a real estate broker to assist with finding a developer for the Naden Avenue properties.
The City Council unanimously authorized Mayor Dana Ralph to move forward with hiring a real estate brokerage service to help negotiate the sale of the city-owned property to a developer.
Several developers responded to the city’s request for interest sent out in December, said Kurt Hanson, city economic and community development director.
“There is consideration of a hotel on the southern piece of the property, so near the end of 2017 we put together a request for interest to see if there was interest in hospitality,” Hanson said at the Feb. 20 council meeting following an executive session to discuss hiring a real estate broker.
While the Naden properties include about 7.7 acres, city staff is looking at about 2 acres on the south end to be used for a hotel. The rest of the property could be for mixed use, possibly apartments, offices and retail. The 2 acres along Naden Avenue are just north of Willis Street, east of Highway 167 and south of West Meeker Street.
Marriott and Hilton are among the hotels whose acquisition staff have shown an interest in the property, Hanson said in a report last fall to the council. An advisory committee of city staff, council members and local business people set criteria last year for the type of hotel development.
The city started to purchase property along Naden Avenue in 2006 with plans to build an aquatic center. But the council later abandoned that proposal because of the recession and high costs of a new pool. City leaders signed off on a deal with the YMCA to build a $24.5 million facility on the East Hill. The YMCA of Greater Seattle hopes to start construction this summer at city park property near Southeast 248th Street and 104th Avenue Southeast. If all goes as planned, the facility could open in 2019.
Kent received clearance from the state Department of Transportation last year to get access from Willis Street to the Naden property from State Route 516. That will allow right turns in and out of the property.