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Glennwood Townhomes Groundbreaking – Progress in Sight for Sunset Area Revitalization

October 17, 2011

For more information contact:

Barbara Burko,
Renton Housing Authority, Executive Secretary, 425-226-1850, ext. 224
Alex Pietsch, Administrator, Community & Economic Development, 425-430-6592
Preeti Shridhar, City of Renton, Communications Director 425-430-6569

City of Renton and Renton Housing Authority join with others
to break ground on first replacement housing for planned Sunset Terrace redevelopment

RENTON – The City of Renton and Renton Housing Authority (RHA) joined elected officials, project funders, supporters and members of the community to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Glennwood Townhomes, a new eight-unit 4-bedroom housing development in the Sunset Area. The project is RHA’s first replacement housing for the planned Sunset Terrace redevelopment and one of many community enhancements envisioned by the Sunset Area Community Investment Strategy, which was adopted by the Renton City Council in fall 2009.

Glennwood GroundBreaking

“This groundbreaking event launches the implementation of this important project in the Sunset Area community,” said Mayor Denis Law. “The Glennwood Townhomes is the first step for the Sunset Terrace redevelopment and one of many enhancements envisioned for the neighborhood to create a more attractive and vibrant community for local residents and businesses. The project will also provide a stimulus for other public and private development in one of the highest priority revitalization areas of the city.”

Since the late-1990s, the city has undertaken several efforts to revitalize the Sunset Area, including two citizen task force efforts and land use and zoning changes. From the outset, RHA has been an active and integral participant in these task forces and the development of the resulting recommendations, actions and strategies. In 2009, the city, RHA and the Renton School District completed a Sunset Area Community Investment Strategy that identified nine implementation strategies. The strategies were intended to build on and complement each other, ultimately enhancing the entire community. The highest priority strategy is to support the redevelopment of RHA’s fifty-year-old, 100-unit Sunset Terrace public housing project. With the Glennwood Townhomes groundbreaking today, the Sunset Terrace redevelopment is now underway.

Earlier this year the Renton City Council adopted a Sunset Area Planned Action/Environmental Impact Statement to help facilitate redevelopment and encourage private and public investment in the Sunset Area. This work specifically supports the redevelopment of the Sunset Terrace public housing community, including the development of new affordable and market-rate housing, a new library and other public amenities on the Sunset Terrace property, as well as other public and private investments elsewhere in the Sunset Area.

The Glennwood Townhomes will be built on land owned by RHA with major funding from King County HOME funds, plus support from the Washington Community Reinvestment Association and the city. The project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2012. When completed, the units will be available as replacement housing for the eight existing four-bedroom public housing units at Sunset Terrace, vacating the 50-year old units to begin to make way for the future redevelopment of RHA’s Sunset Terrace public housing property.

“The Glennwood Townhomes project is the first of many development projects planned by the Renton Housing Authority to partner with the city and others to redevelop Sunset Terrace to provide a mix of uses, including new affordable and market-rate residential housing, a new library and a future park. We appreciate the support of the City of Renton, King County and the Washington Community Reinvestment Association to help make the Glennwood Townhomes project a reality. We look forward to completing construction next summer and making the units available for the largest families in our Sunset Terrace public housing units” said Mark Gropper, RHA Executive Director.

On this, the 70th anniversary of RHA’s founding, Mayor Denis Law thanked the RHA Commissioners and staff and acknowledged the collaborative partnership with the city to help create and implement the Sunset Area Community Investment Strategy. Established on September 10, 1941, RHA currently provides affordable housing to approximately 1,500 households. “The city recognizes the Renton Housing Authority as a valued and key partner in the development of affordable housing and the revitalization of the Sunset Area. We commend RHA for their 70 years of affordable housing development and stewardship and we congratulate them on their efforts to start construction on the Glennwood Townhomes as the first step in the Sunset Terrace redevelopment project,” said Mayor Law.

By working together with RHA and other partners, the city hopes to revitalize the Sunset Area by making better use of underutilized land, redeveloping the existing public housing, creating more housing options, upgrading public infrastructure, improving pedestrian linkages and enhancing community services and amenities. The Glennwood Townhomes project provides important jobs for our region and will also help the city fulfill its –vision—to be the center of opportunity in the Puget Sound Region where families and businesses thrive. The project also helps the city achieve one of its business plan goals: to encourage and partner in the development of quality housing choices for people of all ages and income levels. “We are thankful for the regional partnerships that have made the Glennwood Townhomes possible and look forward to pursuing creative opportunities with others to help generate additional jobs and commercial or residential investments in the Sunset Area and other neighborhoods in Renton,” said Mayor Law.