Kent Downtown Partnership (KDP) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 membership organization dedicated to serving and promoting the downtown Kent business community. KDP works in collaboration with downtown businesses, property owners, residents, governmental agencies, and citizen-based community organizations. The KDP is a proactive leadership organization, cultivating and strengthening public and private partnerships to increase investment in downtown, business recruitment and retention, residential and retail development, improved parks and green spaces, and a better quality of life.
KDP’s vision is to make downtown Kent a thriving destination by promoting a core of vibrant, mixed uses in a pedestrian-friendly environment. Our emphasis is on businesses, restaurants, art, entertainment, public facilities, and infrastructure development that supports the revitalization and continued prosperity of the downtown business community.
Main Street Program
Kent Downtown Partnership is affiliated with the state and national Main Street Program, which was founded by the National Trust of Historic Preservation in 1977. The Trust provides leadership, education, advocacy, and resources to save and protect irreplaceable and historic places, and to revitalize America’s communities.
A membership base of nearly 200 companies, Business and Occupation Tax Incentive Program contributions, fundraising events, volunteers, and the City of Kent fund Kent Downtown Partnership. These funds are used for a variety of programs and projects including façade improvement grants, flowers, planters, art, signs, banners, and lighting that promote an inviting downtown atmosphere, community events, educational workshops for business owners and their employees, and marketing and promotional efforts.
Benefits of Membership
Weekly E-Blast and Monthly Newsletter
Kent Downtown Partnership publishes a weekly What’s Happening and monthly e-newsletter that provides up-to-date information on news and events affecting downtown as well as the community at large.
Downtown Breakfast Hour Events
Kent Downtown Partnership hosts three morning events per year where members are invited to enjoy breakfast during presentations on topics concerning downtown. These breakfasts also provide networking opportunities to learn more about fellow members and downtown business owners.
Member businesses and organizations are linked to the Kent Downtown Partnership website and appear on our online membership directory allowing members to better communicate with each other and broaden their business network.
Member businesses are in the guide printed twice a year and distributed throughout Kent.
Façade Improvement Matching Grant Program
The Business & Occupation tax incentive program through KDP allows property owners and businesses downtown to request matching funds for architectural assistance and the improvement of facades and awnings. Please click here to download an application.
Members are invited to participate in Kent Downtown Partnership committees that discuss important policy issues and projects and actively participate in establishing and achieving goals that are crucial to the success of downtown Kent. Current committees you can serve on:
Chair: Bernadette Thormalem(Central Ave Mini Storage)
Responsible for reaching out to members, staging membership campaigns and helping with recruitment of members.
Economic Development Committee
C0-Chair: Mike Miller (Homestreet Bank)
C0-Chair: Kevin Jussel (Curran Law Firm)
This committee analyzes current market forces to develop long term solutions. Recruiting new businesses, creatively converting unused space for new uses, and sharpening the competitiveness of the existing downtown merchants are examples of economic development activities. Additionally, the members of this committee will help existing businesses expand and recruit specific businesses for a better downtown business mix.
Chair: Suzanne Cameron (Around the Clock, Inc.)
An inviting atmosphere created through window displays, parking areas, signs, colorful banners, sidewalks, street lights and landscaping all improve the physical image of the downtown as a quality place to shop, work, walk, invest in and live. Design improvements result in a reinvestment of public and private dollars to downtown.
Safety & Security
Co-Chair: John Hinds (Tarragon LLC/Kent Station)
Co-Chair: Garry Stewart (Doorman Service Co.)
Identifies and resolves all safety and security issues related to the downtown retail and business core.
Chair: Frankie June (Down Home Catering)
This committee creates excitement downtown. Street festivals, retail events, and image development campaigns are some of the ways Main Street encourages customer traffic. You will be selling the image and promise of Main Street to all prospects. By marketing the district’s unique characteristics to shoppers, investors, new businesses and visitors, an effective promotion strategy forges a positive image through advertising, retail promotional activity and special events.
Business and Occupation Tax Committee
Chair: Mike Hanis (Hanis Irvine Prothero PLLC)
Responsible for educating the businesses and bringing in B&O Tax contributors.
Clean-Up Day Committee
Chair: John Hinds (Tarragon LLC/Kent Station)
Responsible for organizing KDP’s annual Clean-Up Day.
Acting Chair: Polly Shepherd (Kent Reporter)
This committee develops creative and interesting ways to promote our downtown.
Annual Dinner and Auction
Chair: Polly Shepherd (Kent Reporter)
Responsible for staging the annual dinner and auction.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of joining The Kent Downtown Partnership and how you can become a member? Call the KDP office at 253-813-6976 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To download our 2015 meetings calendar, please click here.
Kent Downtown Partnership Executive Board of Directors
Suzanne Cameron, Around the Clock, Inc.
Rick Roland, Roland & Company, CPA
Greg Haffner, Curran Law Firm
Judy Woods, Friend of KDP
Mike Hanis, Hanis Irvine Prothero, PLLC
Mike Miller, HomeStreet Bank, EDC
Kent Downtown Partnership Board of Directors
Dione Dittmar, Airways Brewing Company
Byron Ford, GRCC, Dir. Instructional
John Hinds, Tarragon LLC/Kent Station
Frankie June, Down Home Catering
Alice Marshall, Running Stitch Fabrics
Elizabeth Scharnhorst, resident
Wade Schwartz, Blanc ‘N Schwartz Salon
Polly Shepherd, Kent Reporter
Randall Smith, All Pro Building Maintenance
Garry Stewart, The Doorman Service Co.
Shelly Prange, Perk Up Place
Lisa Vivian, Eberle Vivian
Ben Wolters/Kurt Hanson, City of Kent, Economic & Community Development
Tim Higgins/Ryan Hart, ShoWare Center – Ad Hoc
Andrea Keikkala, Kent Chamber of Commerce – Ad Hoc
Dee Moschel, Lifetime Honorary Member