State reveals top bidders for four Kent liquor stores
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
April 23, 2012 · 12:22 PM
Four high bidders received the rights to apply for spirits retail liquor licenses at the four Kent state-run liquor stores.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board announced the winning bids Monday for the 167 state-run liquor stores that were part of an online auction concluded on Friday.
The sum of individual bids for the 167 stores totaled $30.75 million, with rights awarded to 121 individual bidders, according to a liquor board media release.
Voters approved Initiative 1183 last year to get the state out of the liquor business and privatize sales. That changes becomes effective June 1. Stores must have at least 10,000 square feet to sell liquor under the initiative, but the state-run stores are excluded from that rule.
Initiative 1183 directed the liquor board to auction the state store properties at their current location. However, the state leases the properties, not owns, creating a unique circumstance for the auction.
Successful bidders earned the exclusive right to apply for a liquor license at the current location within its current footprint. All state store properties are below the 10,000 square foot threshold established by the initiative. Successful bidders will need to secure a lease with the property landlord. If they are unable to secure a lease, they may re-sell their right or request an alternative location within a 1-mile radius of the existing location.
Here is the rundown on the four Kent stores:
• Kent Panther Lake, 20514 108th Ave. S.E. Winning bid $141,000 by Ramesh Rabadia, of Renton. Store had $3.7 million in gross sales in 2011.
• Kent West, 317 Washington Ave. S. Winning bid $125,100 by Rajinder Singh, of Kirkland. Store had $4.8 million in gross sales in 2011.
• Kent Midway, 23219 Pacific Highway S. Winning bid $269,100 by Yan Suk Kim, of Vancouver. Store had $2.8 million in gross sales in 2011.
• Kent East, 25835 104th Ave. S.E. Winning bid $160,100 by Kidest Belete, of Renton. Store had $4.2 million in gross sales in 2011.
Rabadia, in addition to the Panther Lake store bid, also had the state's highest winning bid of $750,000 for the Tacoma store at 7048 Pacific Ave., which had $6.2 million in gross sales in 2011.
The state liquor board ran two simultaneous auctions to achieve “maximum reasonable value,” as stated in the initiative. The first was for each individual store. The second was for all store locations available for a single bid, with the state taking the higher of the two. The sum of individual bids exceeded the $4.6 million all-store high bid by a nearly 7 to 1 ratio.
Here is a summary of overall bids statewide:
• Total sum of individual bids - $30.75 million
• High all-store bid - $4.6 million (will not count)
• Registered bidders - 551
• Total number of bids - 14,627
• Single stores to individuals - 93
• Multiple stores to individuals - 28
• Lowest winning bid - $49,600 for Store 186 in Spokane (Division street)
• Highest winning bid - $750,100 for Store 122 in Tacoma (72nd and Pacific)
• Increase in bids on final day - $23.7 million
Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at email@example.com or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.