A Dollar Tree store and strip mall on Kent’s West Hill along Pacific Highway South remains unchanged since a Nov. 13 fire. Mark Klaas/Kent Reporter

Burned strip mall on Kent’s West Hill to be rebuilt

It appears the strip mall destroyed by the Dollar Tree store fire last year will be rebuilt.

The city of Kent received a pre-application request in July to reconstruct the building in the 23400 block of Pacific Highway South on the West Hill.

“The building footprint, height, parking and square footage will not change from the pre-fire condition, but fire sprinklers will be installed and other measures implemented to comply with current building and fire codes,” said Erin George, city senior planner, in a Monday email.

The city also received a demolition permit in July to demolish the west side of the building damaged in the Nov. 13 fire. Fire investigators ruled arson as the cause of the fire. The fire destroyed a tobacco shop, U.S. Post Office and damaged a beauty salon, specialty food store and fitness gym.

Rick Nero, of J2 Building Consultants, who represents property owner John Muscatel, declined to comment on plans for the strip mall.

Ernie Swanson, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said he heard the property owner plans to rebuild.

“When that happens, we will return to our previous location and re-open the Midway Station,” Swanson said in an email.

The Post Office had 493 customers with P.O. boxes at Midway. Customers were directed to use the main Kent Post Office or the Des Moines Post Office.

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