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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Frank Kent to build lofts, events center in Near Southside

Fort Worth-based Frank Kent Motor Co. owners Will Churchill and Corrie Watson are expanding their iconic brand in the bustling Near Southside neighborhood with the purchase of three commercial buildings, two of which are historic.

Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

The auto dealership, celebrating 80 years in business this year, will relocate its office in mid-August to 215 S. Main St. The 4,600-square-foot Class B office building, renamed the Frank Kent Building, was built in 1926 and renovated in 2008. Twenty-five staff members in the company’s accounting, Internet and business development departments will make the move.

The company also bought a two-story building built at 1117 and 1119 W. Magnolia Ave. Located at the corner of South Adams Street and Magnolia, the building will be transformed into two walk-up urban lofts. The Kent & Co. Lofts will be 900 square feet each with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The lofts will have high-end finishes and feature an open concept living and dining room.

Local architecture firm 97w and contractor John Seidler with Reality Dimensions are finishing out the lofts, which will be available for rent for $2,000 per month starting in September.

The lofts are located one block from Churchill and Watson’s Kent & Co. Wines, which the twin brother-and-sister owners opened in June 2014.

“Magnolia Avenue and the Near Southside are great areas to live, work and play,” said Churchill. “We’re proud to be a part of this community and are excited to see its ongoing growth. Kent & Co. Lofts and our new family office are just two of the projects we hope add value to the area.”

Another Frank Kent project is a special events venue called The Space, located at 1309 S. Adams St. The Space, expected to open in mid-October, will serve as a setting for Kent & Co. Wines to host wine education classes and will be available to rent for special events, wedding receptions and private parties for up to 150 people.

The existing 3,331-square-foot building built in 1974 will be renovated to include an 800-square-foot expansion, increasing the space to 4,200 square feet. In addition to four outdoor patios, The Space will have an on-site catering kitchen and will offer valet parking.

On Aug. 18, Frank Kent Motor Co. will host an online auction through Rosen Systems that will include more than $1 million worth of historic pieces from its dealerships.

Items available for bidding include cars, automotive accessories, Frank Kent’s famous firetruck, workbenches and furniture. Items will be available for viewing online on Aug. 8 and in person on Aug. 17.

In May, the company announced the purchase of a 125,000-square-foot facility on 15 acres in North Richland Hills to serve as headquarters for the relocation of Southwest ADI, its General Motors accessory distribution business. The dealership also plans to create a Texas training facility on the site.

The company also plans to open Fort Worth Grills, a retail and online distributor of barbeque-related items at the same address.

Opened in 1935 by the late Frank Kent, the dealership has grown to three locations and has received numerous national awards for outstanding sales and service. Frank Kent Motor Co. owns three dealerships: Hyundai, Fisker and the largest Cadillac dealership in the Southwest.

The family heritage continues today with the fourth generation of Kent automobile dealers.

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