By Jack Stubbs
“We’re very excited to be building this project for Classic Accessories, [and to be] putting up a new long-term home for the company and all [of] its employees,” said William Lu, Senior Vice President of Development at CenterPoint Properties. On August 30th, CenterPoint—a company focused on the development, acquisition and management of industrial properties that emphasizes enhanced transportation infrastructure accessibility—celebrated the groundbreaking of a 229,800 square foot facility located at 26600 72nd Ave S in Kent, Washington. NAI Puget Sound Properties brokered the transaction.
The project is expected to be completed by January, 2018. The facility is leased to Classic Accessories, a company that designs, produces and distributes various outdoor and automotive products. Founded in 1983 by Jacob Engelstein in his basement in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood, the company had humble beginnings, but has since continued to expand its operations, this most recent groundbreaking perhaps an indicator of continued progress.
As well as helping Classic to expand its operations in the short-term, the project also contributes to enhancing Classic’s bond with Kent as a community, according to Lu. “We are very excited to help Classic stay in the city of Kent and continue to be a longtime resident of the city,” he said.
The large-scale site occupies a logistically beneficial location, with easy access to State Route 169—a central corridor that connects the city to US Highway 405, and Seattle to the north—and S 277th St. in Kent. The project also reflects CenterPoint’s longstanding interest in Kent and the surrounding region. “We’re excited to be able to invest in the city of Kent, and we look forward to working with the brokerage community and the city to continue to expand our involvement and our hold in this area,” Lu said.
For the city of Kent, the transaction between CenterPoint and Classic reflects the mutually-beneficial nature of such an agreement, according to Suzette Cooke, Kent City Mayor. “Of course, the city of Kent wants to be a partner in your success. Because the better you do, the better we do,” she said.
Cooke also reiterated the significant achievement of Classic as a company in securing the large industrial space, adding, “When a business does so well that they have to double the square footage, that is amazing … [and so is] the evolution of a basement business [coming] to this kind of fruition.”
The roughly 230,000 square foot facility indicates Classic’s plans for future expansion of the company—the facility is a consolidation of two facilities the company currently leases in the Kent area. However, the deal also reflects the company’s desire to grow stronger roots in Kent, according to Brian Bozlinksi, chief executive officer at Classic. “We worked tirelessly to find a building, and we were really hoping to stay within the Kent community,” he said. A sustained relationship between Classic and the city of Kent was paramount in terms of deciding on a location. “We’ve been here for so long, over 16 years, and we wanted to stay within the community, because it’s been so good for us,” Bozlinski added.
The groundbreaking marked an important milestone of how far Classic has come since its inception thirty-four years ago. “When our founder started this business in the basement of his house, I don’t think he ever thought he’d be here at a groundbreaking ceremony to talk about a warehouse, over 200,000 square feet. So, it’s a very exciting moment for him, as well as [for] us at the company,” Bozlinksi said.
Classic has been at their current location, 22640 68th Ave S.—which lies about 10 miles to the north of the new site—for around sixteen years. The company has been growing ever since, according to Bozlinksi. “We’ve been growing about 15 percent per year, and our staff has been growing at about 8 percent per year, so we’ve more than outgrown our space.” Due to this sustained growth over a relatively short period of time, the new large-scale facility wasn’t only preferable, but entirely imperative for future expansion. “It’s also become a necessity for the company to continue to grow efficiently, manage the customer demand, [and] also to help our staff grow.”