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Renton Mayor Denis Law Delivers 2016 State of the City Address

These are exciting times for our city

RENTON: Renton Mayor Denis Law delivered his 2016 State of the City address today before a packed audience at a breakfast organized by the Renton Chamber of Commerce. He kicked off his presentation by showing a Star Wars themed video that showcased several accomplishments.

“The state of our city today is very good, for a host of reasons,” said Mayor Law. “Our city has become a popular place to live and work, and is envied by many other communities.”

The opening credits of the video set the stage for State of the City address with the following:
• On the south shore of Lake Washington, population just under 99,000, Renton! Home of Boeing, IKEA and the Seattle Seahawks! A city with over a half- billion dollars of new projects!
• A high-end waterfront luxury hotel!
• Over 730,000 square feet of office space, with stunning views of Lake Washington. The workplace of the future!
• Group Health and Providence–the nation’s largest healthcare providers. PACCAR, new IKEA store, CARMAX—the first one in the Puget Sound.
• Amazing redevelopment in downtown and the Sunset Area!
• Boeing, pushing the boundaries of what is possible right here in Renton.
• Every day there are amazing things happening in Renton. A city with a heart and a community that cares.

“Take a look around town and you can see the hundreds of millions of dollars being invested in our community,” said Law. “We have multi-story hotels, office campuses and quality housing under construction in every corner of the city. We are attracting new companies that equate into more local jobs.”

The Mayor acknowledged the City Council for their role.
“The make-up of our City Council has changed, and we are fortunate to have a dynamic group of public officials, who embrace our mission of making Renton a safe and quality place to live, work, learn and play,” said Law. 

The Mayor outlined the five major areas of focus for the city:
• Economic development
• Inclusion/diversity Initiative and serving vulnerable populations
• Police effectiveness and improving community relations
• Quality of Life
• Workforce culture, competence, efficiency and quality customer service

Some of the key accomplishments and priorities he highlighted include the following:

A Welcoming and Inclusive Community
• Formed Mayor’s Inclusion Task Force representing Renton’s diverse communities.
• In collaboration with local churches, provided shelter for 450 families and placed 78 homeless families in stable housing
• Strengthening relationships between Police Department and faith community by working closely together.
• Expanding recruitment initiatives to ensure diverse workforce reflects the community we serve.
• Holding our first multi-cultural festival representing different cultures from around the world.

Reducing Crime and Improving Safety
• Developing creative strategies to reduce crime.
• Improving relationships between our police officers and residents.
• Employing new initiatives that improve the sense of safety throughout the community.

Changing the Landscape of Our City
• Planning Department handled 5,000 building permits, from small remodels to major construction projects.
• More than a half-billion dollars in investments under construction here today.
• A luxury Hyatt Regency hotel under construction on the lake at the south end of Gene Coulon Park.
• Plans underway for a 730,000 square foot, Class A office campus in Southport.
• A Hampton Inn & Suites with 110 rooms and Marriott Residence Inn with 146 rooms are being constructed on Lake Washington Blvd.
• A new state-of-the art veterinary hospital opened across from the Seahawks facility at NE 44th.
• PACCAR is constructing a 170,000 square foot parts distribution center on a 25-acre site adjacent to the Kenworth factory.
• Group Health is building a corporate campus at the former Longacres site.
• A new, two-level, 406,000 square feet IKEA store is under construction for an enhanced shopping experience.
• CARMAX, a national used-car dealership, is building a 20,000 square foot building on a 12-acre site on East Valley Road.
• The Landing is 98% filled and continues to do well. It’s a lively place to be 7 days a week.

Downtown Revitalization in Full Swing
• Formation of Main Street Program and Renton Downtown Partnership to focus on downtown revitalization and improvement efforts.
• New 6-story lofts building at 2nd and Main with 101 units and 4,000 square feet of street-front retail space.
• Rehabilitation of the Cortona Building, the historic 1950s era Woolworth's building, with a ground floor featuring several retail operators.
• Studies underway to explore the conversion of S. 2nd and S. 3rd Streets as well as other side streets back to two-way traffic.
• Study underway to produce a Master Plan for relocation of the Transit Center and redevelop the Piazza Park to encourage more public use.

Sunset Area Community Revitalization
• Opening a new library this month.
• Breaking ground on a quality multi-family facility featuring market-rate housing and retail space.
• Planning a new 4-acre park as a gathering spot for recreation and outdoor activities for the neighborhood.

“We live in a community that has earned a positive reputation throughout the region. We’re also a city with a strong sense of community spirit. We’re an inclusive community.”

The Mayor’s address will be broadcast on Renton’s TV channel 21 and video-streamed on the city’s YouTube page, with photos and clips posted on Facebook, Twitter, and the city’s website rentonwa.gov. To read the Mayor’s State of the City message, please visit rentonwa.gov.