The KOA campground in Kent has closed after more than 40 years in town. A San Francisco-based developer bought the property and plans to build a large warehouse at the site. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

The KOA campground in Kent has closed after more than 40 years in town. A San Francisco-based developer bought the property and plans to build a large warehouse at the site. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

Large warehouse in Kent to replace KOA campground

California developer bought property for $10.3 million; camping sites opened in 1978

A California developer plans to replace the Seattle/Tacoma KOA campground that has operated in Kent for more than 40 years with a large warehouse.

KOA (Kampgrounds of America) closed the Kent location at 5801 South 212th St., near Russell Road, on Nov. 1.

South Dakota-based Recreational Adventures Co., which owned and operated the KOA, sold the 8.1 acres in April to Lift Partners, of San Francisco, for $10.3 million, according to King County property records. Lift Partners is a full-service real estate investment company focused on industrial and office opportunities along the West Coast, according to its website.

“The KOA site is being reviewed for development of an approximately 100,000-square-foot warehouse building,” said Matt Gilbert, city deputy director of Economic and Community Development, in an email. “Assuming the plan review process proceeds per normal, the site should be under construction in spring/summer 2022.”

Lift Partners will face new city requirements to build the warehouse.

“This will be one of the early warehouses built under the city’s newly adopted industrial design standards, which require employee amenities like outdoor amenity spaces, less visible semi-truck areas and better building aesthetics,” Gilbert said.

The warehouse will be built just down the road from the Amazon Fulfillment Center, an 800,000-square-foot facility that opened in 2016 on the former Boeing property.

KOA had 189 sites at its Kent location, which opened in 1978. Recreational Adventures Co. took over operation and ownership in 1995, according to an email from Gwyn Wathen, marketing director for Recreational Adventures. The property sold for $1.9 million in January 1996, according to county property records, which means Recreational Adventures made about $8 million on this year’s sale.

Recreational Adventures operates 14 KOA Campgrounds across the nation, Wathen said. He did not respond to questions about why the company decided to sell the property.

A few campers remained on the property this month, but no new campers are allowed because the site is officially closed.

The King County Assessor appraised the property at $6.5 million this year. The assessor listed the quality of the campground’s buildings as average. The land was appraised at $2.7 million in 2016, according to county property records.


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A few campers remained recently at the closed KOA campground in Kent along South 212th Street. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

A few campers remained recently at the closed KOA campground in Kent along South 212th Street. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

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