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Construction on downtown Kent apartment complex to start soon

Construction will start later this month on a 176-unit apartment complex in downtown Kent at the corner of West Smith Street and Fourth Avenue. - COURTESY GRAPHIC, Studio Meng Strazzara
Construction will start later this month on a 176-unit apartment complex in downtown Kent at the corner of West Smith Street and Fourth Avenue.
— image credit: COURTESY GRAPHIC, Studio Meng Strazzara

The city of Kent has finalized the sale of its City Center property to Seattle-based Goodman Real Estate, Inc. to construct a 176-unit apartment complex at the corner of West Smith Street and Fourth Avenue North.

City officials and the developer previously agreed to a two-year lease with the option to purchase. The sale closed June 4, according to a city media release.

Goodman and its architect, Studio Meng Strazzara, will construct a five-story, mixed-use development consisting of 176 urban-style apartments, 3,100 square feet of retail and 35 public parking spaces in addition to the parking set aside for residents. The existing footprint of the city’s Town Square Plaza park next to the apartments will remain unchanged.

The development will be named The Platform as an acknowledgement to its proximity to the commuter rail line and Kent Station.

Goodman is eager to move forward with the project.

“Our confidence in the regional economy and Kent is strong," said George Petrie, Goodman's president and CEO, in the media releas. "While we have numerous projects under development in the Seattle area, we are particularly excited to be the first new multifamily project in downtown Kent. We want to start showing apartments by this time next year."

Petrie said Goodman plans to add a roof top amenity to the development.

“With the spectacular view of Mount Rainier, a roof top recreation area will be a tremendous addition to The Platform and a great draw for future residents.

“We’re also working with a nationally branded retail tenant to occupy the commercial space. As part of the design process working with this tenant, we are adjusting the building to allow for outdoor seating which will further activate that corner. We are excited about this opportunity and the vitality it will bring to The Platform."

The name of that tenant has not yet been released.

Mayor Suzette Cooke can't wait to finally see the corner developed.

“I am thrilled that such a well-respected developer as Goodman Real Estate will help us meet the demand we have for quality, modern downtown apartments,” Cooke said. “As the city’s new mayor, I inherited the unfinished parking garage seven years ago. Even after the city secured the property through foreclosure and tore down the garage, this prime corner remained an eyesore. Now, The Platform will complement Kent Station, ShoWare Center and Town Square Plaza as public attractions.”

Goodman paid the city $902,000 for the property. Combined with the cost to demolish the unfinished structure left by the previous developer, the sale is worth $1.2 million.

Ben Wolters, Kent’s Community and Economic Development director, said the new and vibrant activity downtown will be a benefit to the community overall.

“I’ve often said downtown, market-rate housing is the third leg of the stool needed to really solidify the revitalization of the area," Wolters said.  "Having an urban, mixed-use development next door to Town Square Plaza will strengthen the link between Kent Station and historic downtown. This much-needed residential development will enliven the area and provide our downtown merchants with regular customers that don’t exist today."

City Council President Dennis Higgins said it's been a long wait for resolution on this key property.

“The Platform builds on the success of other recent downtown developments, and will really help realize the vision for our downtown,” Higgins said.

Plans are being made for a public groundbreaking celebration in July, with the date yet to be determined.

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