A rendering of the proposed new apartment complex planned to replace the Riverbend par 3 golf course along West Meeker Street in Kent.

Kent nears sale of par 3 golf course property

A purchase and sale agreement for the city of Kent to sell its Riverbend Golf Complex par 3 property to a developer will go before the City Council for approval on Tuesday evening.

The item is on the agenda for the 7 p.m; meeting at City Hall under other business and listed as Marquee on Meeker/Riverbend Golf Complex.

Auburn-based FNW Inc./Landmark Development Group plans to build 500 apartments as well as retail space in place of the par 3 course just south of West Meeker Street.

“These are aspirations, it’s not definite,” City Attorney Tom Brubaker said to the council at its April 18 meeting about the timeline. “We are hoping to bring the purchase and sale agreement to you for approval on May 2 that will have a number of conditions on it. But they (the developers) will put down $500,000 in earnest money and sign a purchase and sale agreement. If conditions are fulfilled, it will convert to a sale.”

The council approved trying to sell the property in 2014 to help eliminate the city’s enterprise golf fund debt of nearly $3 million and allow for about $6 million in capital improvements to the 18-hole course across the street from the par 3 course as a way to draw more players to boost revenue. The Riverbend Golf Complex operates at a deficit of about $300,000 per year.

A draft development agreement that will include all the infrastructure details could be done by May 26, Brubaker said. If that deadline is met, a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) official will make a decision about the conditions in the agreement, possibly by June 2.

“If we make that date, we will bring a final agreement to you on June 20,” Brubaker said to the council. “We will have a public hearing that night.”

Brubaker said the developer would then sign the sale agreement a few days later and start construction in July.

“There are a lot of details to complete between now and then but that’s what we are working to accomplish,” Brubaker said about the sale timeline.

The mixed-use project will feature two primary buildings about five-stories high with apartments and bottom-floor retail. The rest of the project will include smaller buildings with about 16 units per complex, with many facing south toward the Green River and Mount Rainier. The developer and city officials hope to interest restaurant owners to open locations at the site.