Last Friday Kent Downtown Partnership held its periodic Downtown Breakfast Hour to update interested business owners and residents on what’s going on in downtown Kent. KDP president Randall Smith kicked things off to a full house with a warm welcome, followed by Barb Smith introducing local city officials.
Barb said the sponsorship brochures are done for anyone interested in sponsoring KDP for the year, and she invited everyone to the Business Appreciation Reception scheduled for March 9 (5 to 7 PM) at Down Home Catering. Also, Project Feast, now in the space that Perk Up Place used to occupy, is up and running. It is a business incubator project. Also, two new businesses have opened up in downtown Kent, First Down Bar & Grill and Create.
Ben Wolters and Bill Ellis from the City of Kent’s economic development department shared updates on various projects in downtown Kent:
- Meeker Street/Hwy. 167 overpass lighting project is still in the works. The city is waiting for the final OK from WSDOT before putting the project out for bid.
- The city received a $250,000 Transportation Improvement Board grant to make improvements to downtown Kent streets. The project under consideration is pedestrian improvements at Meeker and Fourth.
- The city continues to work on the Meet Me on Meeker street project.
- The Naden site is mostly vacant, and the city is working on ideas for its best use, and has already received some unsolicited inquiries from hotels.
- The city is working on ways to beautify the Interurban Trail that runs through downtown Kent.
- The city is wrapping up negotiations with a developer for the Riverbend property.
- The group discussed how the light rail will impact Sound Transit and where the new parking garage might be placed.
- The economic development dept. has been tasked with creating an incentive package to bring new businesses to Meeker Street between First and Fourth Avenue.
“We’re making Kent an attractive place to invest,” said Wolters.
Thanks to all who came out for the event!