Two Kent liquor stores go for higher price second time around

Bidders put up $325,000 for the Kent Midway liquor store and $320,000 for the Panther Lake store at a live auction Thursday, May 24 in Seattle. - STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter
Bidders put up $325,000 for the Kent Midway liquor store and $320,000 for the Panther Lake store at a live auction Thursday, May 24 in Seattle.
— image credit: STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

Two Kent liquor stores went for a lot higher price during the second round of bids.

Byung "Hoon" Kim, of Edmonds, paid $320,000 for the rights to apply for a spirits liquor license at the Kent Panther Lake store, 20514 108th Ave. S.E. That easily beat the previous online bid in April of $141,000.

Chander Kishore, of Kent, paid $325,000 for the Midway store, 23219 Pacific Hwy. S., up from $269,100 offered in April.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board re-auctioned the rights Thursday in Seattle to apply for a spirits retail liquor license at 18 state-run liquor stores statewide. The sum of individual bids totaled $5.57 million, with rights awarded to 14 successful bidders.

“These bidders are here because they want to be part of what has been a very profitable business for the state,” said Pat McLaughlin, State Liquor Control Board director of business enterprise, in a media release.

The liquor board ran the auction to resell locations whose original winners had failed, for whatever reason, to complete the purchase process.

During the online auction that ended April 20, the sum of the high bids for the 18 stores was approximately $4.6 million. At Thursday’s live public re-auction, the sale price of those locations to nearly $5.6 million. A 6 percent bidder premium will be added to each successful bid for a total of approximately $5.9 million. All bidders were required to post a $10,000 bid deposit to participate in 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 passed last year by voters to privatize sales and get the state out of the liquor business.

The new law goes into effect Friday, June 1.

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 one-mile radius of the existing location.

The Panther Lake store is 4,130 square feet and had $3.7 million in gross sales in 2011. The Midway at the La Plaza strip mall has 4,200 square feet and had $2.8 million in gross sales last year.

Two other liquor stores in Kent, 317 Washington Ave. S., and 25835 104th Ave. S.E., were sold to high bidders during the online auction in April.

Here's the list of stores auctioned Thursday with location, previous price and the re-auction price:

Seattle-2nd and Seneca















Spokane-East Sprague



Kent-Panther Lake



Kent-Midway Crossing



Bellevue-Kelsey Crossroads









Tacoma-72nd and Pacific






Ocean Shores



Kennewick-Columbia Summit






North Bend






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