Now in its 16th year, the Kent Station shopping center recently reached its highest retail occupancy since it opened.
“Kent Station, is back and roaring after 18 months of the pandemic,” according to an Aug. 9 press release from Tarragon Property Services. “As of July 2021, Kent Station’s retail component is 91% occupied, the highest it has been in the history of the development. This is an achievement under normal conditions but particularly exceptional during the coronavirus pandemic. With 55 tenants, almost half (25) consists of the original opening mix of retailers at the urban village.”
Two new retailers are scheduled to open this fall. Daiso, a popular Japanese variety retailer selling household goods at affordable prices, will be located across the street from Duke’s Seafood. Honest Nails, a high-quality nail salon and spa will be located adjacent to Trapper’s Sushi.
Along with the two new additions, Buds & Blooms, a flower and gift shop, will expand its space and double in size by the end of the year.
In addition to retail success, Dwell, the 154-unit luxury apartment complex which opened in 2016, is now 98% leased, higher than before the start of the pandemic, according to Tarragon. Residents say that part of the apartment homes appeal and high occupancy is its unique amenity of a second-floor deck with an outdoor fireplace, hammocks, table tennis and a bocce ball court. Dwell residents enjoy the convenience of having the Kent Station retailers, restaurants, and events right at their doorstep.
The summer concerts on Wednesday evenings at Kent Station are bringing between 500 and 1,500 patrons. This year, and in partnership with the city of Kent, Kent Station has added a farmer’s market to complement the concerts, boosting even more foot traffic to the historic downtown core.
In its ongoing commitment to the community, Kent Station held numerous charity events throughout the challenged pandemic year. These include multiple drive-through food donation events benefitting the Kent Food Bank and a school supply drive for the Kent School District. Kent Station also partnered with the state Department of Health to host a pop-up vaccination event.
Kent Station continues to have ongoing pop-up blood drives in partnership with Bloodworks NW, which recently surpassed 1,500 donors. Kent Station is part of a growing local community of nonprofit organizations, events, and causes that have joined forces together and has become known as the Kent Community Partners.
In June, the annual event Ladies Night Out, raised $4,000 for Kent Youth and Family Services, a local nonprofit that has been servicing disadvantaged youth for more than 50 years.
On Aug. 22, the Cruisin’ Kent Car Show benefiting the American Cancer Society will be at the shopping center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Tarragon Property Services reports that overall store sales have recovered to levels comparable to sales numbers in 2019, which was prior to COVID-19.
“We all know 2020 as the pandemic year, which gave us the most challenging year ever for anyone in the retail industry,” said Tina Pappas, president of Tarragon Property Services. “I am proud of how our team worked with our retailers and the community to adapt and position Kent Station as a bustling urban village, featuring exceptional retail, shopping, dining and entertainment experiences.”
Pappas said it took a lot of cooperation to keep things going strong.
“Our property managers, tenants, and leasing teams communicated almost daily throughout this time,” Pappas said. “The diversity of our real estate portfolio as well as the willingness of our tenants to hang in there helped us through this challenging time, and we were even able to increase our occupancy numbers. As Kent Station celebrates 16 years of growth and success, we look forward to all the good things the future holds.”