By Jack Stubbs
Kent is a city often known for the immense amount of industrial development occurring there, and a newly-constructed warehouse/office facility recently came full circle.
“As a developer, we always love success stories like this. We love being able to work with a great company like [Classic Accessories] and help them be able to stay in a city [where] they were founded. It’s great for the employees to have spaces like this where there are great amenities and features, and a great location and visibility,” said William Lu, senior vice president of CenterPoint Properties.
On Thursday, March 29th, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the opening of a 229,800 square foot facility located at 26600 72nd Ave. in Kent. CenterPoint Properties, a company that focuses on the development, acquisition and management of industrial properties that emphasizes enhanced transportation infrastructure accessibility, developed the property. The building is leased by Classic Accessories, a company founded in 1983 that designs, produces and distributes various outdoor and automotive products.
NAI Global brokered the transaction. Barghausen Consulting Engineers, Craft Architects and Poe Construction were also on the project team.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the warehouse/office space marks the latest chapter in a longer process. CenterPoint Properties originally embarked on the project in March 2017 and a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the development in early September 2017. The newly-opened location also marks the fourth time in Classic Accessories’ history that expansion has required a move to a larger facility.
From the beginning, the objective was the new facility was to provide the employees of Classic Accessories—a company that was founded in 1983 by Jacob Engelstein in his basement in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood—with a place where the company could grow, according to Brian Bozlinksi, CEO of Classic Accessories. “When this project started, it was about creating a better space for our employees so that they could grow and flourish in a great work environment, as well as [provide] a place where [Classic Accessories] can better serve [its] customers,” he said. “This large facility gives people the ability to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.” The space contains over 30 dock doors, more than 35 trailer positions and an office footprint—totaling nearly 230,000 square feet—large enough for 80-plus Kent employees.
Prior to moving into the new facility, Classic Accessories had been at their current location (22640 68th Ave S.), which lies about 10 miles north of the site, for around 16 years.
From a geographical perspective, the large-scale site occupies a logistically beneficial location, with easy access to Washington State Route 169—a central corridor that connects the city to I-5 and Seattle to the north—and S. 277th St. in Kent.
More broadly, the facility also represents Classic Accessories’ commitment to the city of Kent, according to mayor Dana Ralph, and is a win-win for all parties involved. “From the city’s standpoint, this is a success story that we love to celebrate. It was a success because Classic Accessories decided to stay in Kent. I’m grateful that you’re here and that you decided to have a long-time presence,” she said. “This is the type of company where I can go out into the region and say ‘this is why you should come to Kent.’ Because we can work with you well and we’ve got global companies here that take care of their employees. That’s a really strong message.”
And even though the facility reflects Classic Accessories’ continued commitment to the city and the surrounding region, the company does not intend to rest on its laurels, according to Bozlinski. “We’re continuing to evolve here as a company. We’ve had a lot of tremendous change over the years and our employees have always been there with us going through these changes,” he said. “We’re excited for this new space not only because it provides a better space for our team to be more productive, but also because it will enhance our ability to service our customers and support our future initiatives.”