Kent transport

A new look at the bustling corner of Kent where REI once stood

There’s a whole new look to the oft-seen northwest corner of 68th Avenue South and 228th Street South in Kent that REI’s former headquarters dominated for 32 years.

Chicago-based Bridge Development Partners purchased the former REI property along the busy West Valley Highway in 2020, demolished all four buildings in 2021 and earlier this year completed two new blue and white industrial buildings . The developer also built an open space (as required by city code) with picnic tables along South 228th Street that is open to the public.

The 50,529 square foot front building is fully leased to Seattle Mainfreight Air & Ocean, a New Zealand-based transportation and logistics company, according to a Bridge Development Partners spokesperson.

The second 258,499 square foot building, marked with a Bridge Point Kent 300 sign, is still available for rent. Both buildings were completed in the spring.

Mainfreight began operations in Auckland, New Zealand in 1978, according to its website. The company went global in 1999 with the acquisition of businesses in Asia and the United States. Full ownership of our Asian operations was completed in 2007 and today it has several branches operating in China, Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea. Expansion continues in America with the acquisition of Target Logistics Services in 2007.

“Whether you’re transporting raw materials to Australia or conquering the world by exporting, your supply chain starts somewhere in the world of Mainfreight,” according to Mainfreight’s website about its air and sea services. “Our local team can ease your international shipping worries by moving your products through ports and airports to ensure your products are in the hands of your customers when you need them.”

Bridge Development Partners purchased the 15.8 acres from REI for $24.6 million in 2020 in the 6700 block of South 228th Street, according to King County property records.

REI, the outdoor specialty retailer that opened its Kent headquarters in 1988, announced in 2020 that employees would shift to working from home or on small remote campuses. The company, founded in 1938 in Seattle, had planned to move in 2020 to a new site in Bellevue, but sold that property.

From March 2019 to March 2020, Kent City Council approved an interim ban to limit large truck-intensive warehouses in half of the Kent Valley Industrial Estate. This ban ended when the council adopted new design standards and building codes in April 2020.

Bridge Development Partners announced in 2020 that Bridge Point Kent 300 is the first major project under Kent’s new code, following the moratorium on warehouse development enacted in 2019.

The new code placed strict limits on the overall footprint, loading doors and other design components Bridge was able to successfully navigate before the site was closed, according to the company. Part of the south-east corner of the facility is dedicated to public outdoor space for residents of Kent.

Developers must meet a number of requirements.

“The code changes were intended to improve architectural features, particularly on major prestige corridors like West Valley Highway, and to attenuate high-rise, very massive warehouse buildings in-place and provide outdoor amenities for future employees. working in the proposed warehouses,” Bill Ellis, the city’s director of economic development, said in an earlier Kent Reporter article.


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Seattle Mainfreight Air & Ocean, based in New Zealand, occupies the front building at 68th Avenue South and South 228th Street. STEVE HUNTER, Kent journalist

A public open space is at the corner of 68th Avenue South and 228th Street South.  STEVE HUNTER, Kent journalist

A public open space is at the corner of 68th Avenue South and 228th Street South. STEVE HUNTER, Kent journalist

A grassy area with picnic tables is open to the public next to Bridge Point Kent 300. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

A grassy area with picnic tables is open to the public next to Bridge Point Kent 300. STEVE HUNTER, Kent Reporter

Seattle Mainfreight Air & Ocean is a New Zealand-based transportation and logistics company.  STEVE HUNTER, Kent journalist

Seattle Mainfreight Air & Ocean is a New Zealand-based transportation and logistics company. STEVE HUNTER, Kent journalist