The Kenai Plaza retail business center surrounding Carrs Quality Center and Big Kmart in Kenai will see at least one new neighbor, and maybe two, by the end of summer.
Already signs of construction can be seen with the razing of Dairy Queen on the Kenai Spur Highway last week, where a new NAPA store will be built.
"It will be a real nice addition to the strip," said manager Howard Patten. "In total volume, the new store will be twice as big. On the ground it will be the same size, but it will have a second level for storage."
He said with the second floor, the square footage of the building will be 4,000.
The current Kenai NAPA store, located about a mile further down the Kenai Spur Highway, already has gotten interest from people who want to rent the building, Patten said.
"Over the years, Kenai has moved toward the strip and we'll be right in that hub area. It will be a real good move for us," he said. "It's going to be a good thing for everybody. There'll be more employment and more taxes for the city. It's a good deal all the way around."
Patten said he plans to add between three and five more employees once the store is built. His current staff numbers 10.
The opposite end of the Kenai Plaza may soon be home to an addition to Kenai Chrysler Center.
"We're in the process of negotiating to put a real nice, state-of-the-art used car and truck facility there," said Bob Favretto, owner of Kenai Chrysler. "We literally outgrew our space here."
Kenai Chrysler Center is located nearby on the corner of the Spur Highway and Marathon Road.
Favretto said he also would like space to display recreational vehicles. However, his new car lot may not wind up at Kenai Plaza at all.
"I'm also looking at (a lot) on Bridge Access Road behind Mapco, and one in Homer," he said.
However, even if he builds in Homer, Favretto said he would still want a secondary lot in Kenai. He said there will be some sort of office -- probably a modular office trailer -- on the new lot, but he said if he doesn't build at the plaza, it may be more than that.
"If we go to the Bridge Access Road site, it will probably be a pretty big structure to serve dual purposes, such as holding community events," he said.
Favretto said if everything goes right, he could begin construction in the next couple of weeks and be "up and going" this summer.
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