KEYS – Kimco Encourages Entrepreneurs to

Kimco Realty is actively seeking startup entrepreneurs and first-time business owners to apply and participate in the new KEYS program. KEYS (Kimco Entrepreneurs Year Start) will place qualified applicants into Kimco shopping centers with one year of free rent and additional benefits. Kimco will provide operational and financial support through the critical startup incubation years, to better ensure the success of these first-time business owners.

KEYS launched in California, and the program has now expanded into Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon. In total, there are over 100 small shops (3,000 square feet and under) available for KEYS participants, including many pre-built restaurant spaces.

KEYS LISTINGS – Browse Available Space

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KEYS Benefits

  • First year rent FREE! (Standard triple net fees shall apply)
  • Personal Kimco retail business counselor to assist in store location selection
  • Favorable four-year lease extension option for existing store upon completion of first successful year
  • Immediate “retail credibility” by opening store in a neighborhood or regional shopping center owned by a premier national real estate company

Qualifications for KEYS participants

  • Startup entrepreneur who plans on opening his or her first store, restaurant, or other concept (not accepting franchise companies)
  • Adequate source of funding for venture
  • Written Business Plan with detailed business goals
  • Ability to articulate his or her plan for success in an interview
  • Certificate, endorsement, or letter of completion verifying entrepreneurial classes completed from an SBA sponsored business association, college, university or appropriate training organization encouraged, but not required

KEYS Success Stories

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Educational Alliances

The best-qualified KEYS applicants will have completed a formal entrepreneurial business program. Applicants may submit a certificate from a community college for a business program, an endorsement from a training organization, or a letter of completion of an entrepreneurial series of classes.

Our educational alliances include the following reputable and highly-regarded organizations:

Online Application

Kimco welcomes future business owners to apply to KEYS, and we eagerly await your communications.

Please click here to begin the online application process.

If you have any questions or need assistance in filling out the application, please call
1-888-668-1690 and ask for KEYS assistance.

Thank you in advance for your application.


  • Judith  Briggs
    Executive Assistant
    Office: (760) 598-2084
    1621-B South Melrose Drive
    Vista, CA 92081

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