Kaiser Permanente has yet to announce a construction timeline or plans for medical services at a facility it plans to build on the former Kmart property in Kent.
Kaiser Permanente bought the property in December 2020 for $15 million and announced in January 2021 plans for a potential primary care, mental health and wellness facility at 24800 W. Valley Highway. Crews demolished the store and fenced off the property.
But the company has yet to reveal any details about what’s next for the high-profile property west of West Valley Highway and south of West Meeker Street.
”The status is still the same, with timeline and mix of services under review,” said a Kaiser Permanente spokesperson in a Sept. 23 email.
That’s the same message the spokesperson sent in January 2021, about 20 months ago.
“This purchase is the beginning of an effort by Kaiser Permanente to transform access to health care for the people of Kent and other communities between Seattle and Tacoma,” said Gretchen Benzin, executive director of facilities for Kaiser Permanente Washington, in a January 2021 emailed statement. “This centrally located property is ideally situated to serve these communities.”
The project is part of the company’s plan to increase access to health care for people in South King County, according to the statement. With continued population growth projected, this new facility will help meet those needs and provide access to primary care, mental health and wellness.
Kaiser Permanente didn’t release any details in January 2021 about a construction timeline or size of the facility.
Kaiser Permanente has a primary care center on Kent’s East Hill at 26004 104th Ave. SE. The company also has clinics in Federal Way, Burien and Renton.
Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente was founded in 1945, according to its website. The company includes Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and its subsidiaries The Permanente Medical Groups, which is in Washington.
Kmart closed in 2018. Kmart opened the store in 1978.