Civic Core Vision & Action Plan

The Renton Downtown Civic Core Vision and Action Plan, covering the Downtown Business District and concentrating on the Civic Core Area, was approved by the City Council on January 8, 2018.

The plan is the result of a series of community meetings and online input and provides recommendations to take advantage of the future possibilities and opportunities for Renton’s Downtown.

Implementation of many recommendations commenced shortly after the plan’s approval. 

Open House


The city hosted an open house on June 6, 2023, for the public to learn more about new projects recommended in the Civic Core Plan. Approximately 275 persons attended. They examined displays on the projects, discussed them with team members, and provided feedback. All projects will improve the downtown environment and make it more accessible. The active Civic Core Projects below were part of the open house. Click on the project titles to learn more.

Active Civic Core Projects

The Renton Connector

As a key element of the Downtown Civic Core Vision and Action Plan, the Renton Connector project is a new urban trail, or “greenway”, that creates a signature Civic Core and Downtown green spine and regional trail connection between the Cedar River Trail, Lake to Sound Trail, Lake Washington Loop Trail, and the Eastside Rail Corridor for pedestrians and cyclists between the Cedar River, City Hall and the new South Renton Transit Center to the south.

The Renton Connector project will install a continuous non-motorized facility along Burnett Avenue S. (westside) between S 2nd Street and S 5th Street via separated walkways, protected bicycle lanes (cycle track), and a multi-use path. This project will also include landscaped medians, reconfigured public parking areas, curb ramp upgrades to ADA standards, and traffic signalization improvements.

The Renton Connector project team has launched a survey to collect community feedback the project's current concepts.

Concept View Overhead

Pavilion Market & Food Hall

The City is renovating an underutilized publicly-owned facility and transforming it into a vibrant marketplace for residents, an incubator space for small businesses, and a central gathering space for the rapidly growing and highly diverse community of Renton.

Graphic: Pavilion Concept1

The Downtown Civic Core Vision and Action Plan (“Plan”) recommends that the Pavilion Event Center be reimagined as a year-round market/food hall that can continue to accommodate events and regular programmed activities. Located just north of Piazza Park and in the middle of the Civic Core’s Heart Block, the marketplace will feature unique opportunities and spaces for retail and restaurants. The City is partnering with local and regional small business support groups to help provide the resources, opportunities, access, and connections needed for small business start-up enterprises to flourish.

The conceptual design includes three (3) restaurant or large permanent spaces, up to 14 kiosk spaces for smaller food and retail vendors, room for flexible daily and short-term spaces, a kitchen classroom and meeting space, and interior/exterior seating to enjoy and connect with nearby businesses and park activities.  The kiosks and flexible spaces allow up-and-coming businesses to showcase products and services in a festive setting without the need for a typical storefront location. Featured businesses can enhance their marketing and exposure with a positive experience of seasonal and rotating retail options.

Graphic: Pavilion Concept Inside

Overall, the marketplace will be a center of community within the downtown core for those living in the area as well as visitors.  The Pavilion Market & Food Hall will provide additional opportunities to grow Renton’s small business community while offering another unique experience in Downtown. 

Contact Information
Economic Development Division
Amanda Free, Economic Development Assistant Director
[email protected]

Public Works – Facilities Division
Russ Woodruff, Capital Project Coordinator
[email protected] 

Downtown Streetscapes

The City of Renton started improving the streets and sidewalks of downtown blocks in 2017 in conjunction with several key initiatives, including:

  • Conversion of several one-way vehicular streets to two-way traffic;

  • Development of Downtown Streetscape Design Standards and Guidelines (“Streetscape Standards”); and

  • Approval of the Downtown Civic Core Vision and Action Plan (“Civic Core Plan”).

These public rights-of-way improvements, collectively know as “streetscapes,” provide the opportunity to improve the appearance and safety of sidewalk and street areas fronting Downtown’s commercial buildings and public amenities. Streetscape improvements cover all the physical elements that pedestrians and drivers experience, including replacement sidewalks, new streetlights, street furniture like bicycle racks and litter receptacles, public artwork, and new street curbs, gutters, and paving. 

Several street intersection projects over the past several years have installed streetscape improvements at 2nd, 3rd, and Houser at Main, Wells and Williams. Other Downtown Streetscape Improvement projects have been completed or are in the planning stages: 

  • Phase 1 (completed in 2021): 200 block of Wells Avenue S (between 2nd and 3rd) received new scored sidewalks, lighting, trees, landscaping, street furniture, street banners, flower baskets, and holiday lighting.

  • Phase 2 (in design):

  • 200 block of Williams Ave S (between 2nd and 3rd) will receive improvements similar to Phase 1.

  • East side of 400 block of Burnett Ave S (between S 4th and 5th) will receive new scored sidewalks, lighting, limited street furniture, and street banners (all trees will remain in place).

  • Future Phases: Locations to be determined.

Contact Information
Development Services Division
Williams Avenue Streetscape
Michael Sippo, Civil Engineer III
[email protected]

Burnett Avenue Streetscape
Jonathan Chavez, Civic Engineer III
[email protected]

Arts & Culture Space – Logan Ave S and S 2nd St

Promoting the arts as a defining feature of downtown is a key element of the Downtown Civic Core Vision and Action Plan. City staff and the Renton Municipal Arts Commission (RMAC) are working collaboratively to activate one of the vacant ground floor commercial spaces in the City Center Parking Garage. The approximately 585 SF space along Logan Avenue (west side of garage) would be reimagined with a new community space for the arts and creative economy.

The space would be developed, managed, and operated by a community and cultural organization selected through a Request for Proposals. The space is envisioned to include creative economic innovation and incubation of new or growing artistic and cultural small businesses. 

Contact Information
Economic Development Division
Jessie Kotarski, Economic Development Manager
[email protected]

Downtown Wayfinding

Photo: Pedestrian KioskThe Downtown Civic Core Vision and Action Plan (“Plan”) includes a new wayfinding system design that will better direct people to get to and navigate within the downtown district. The system includes a family of signs that work together to identify the district boundaries and its amenities and attractions.

The system’s first phase consisted of two Gateway Monuments installed in 2021 at S. 3rd St/Rainier Ave. S and S. 4th St/Burnett Ave. S, along with a Pedestrian Directory Kiosk within Piazza Park near S. 3rd St/Burnett Ave. S. The second phase includes approximately twenty (20) Advance Directional, Vehicular Directional, and Pedestrian Directional signs throughout the greater downtown and Civic Core areas. Additional phases are planned for future years.

The design of the various system signs combines nods to elements of Renton history and character, including sign blades, monuments and kiosks shaped to resemble airplane wings and a Pacific Northwest color scheme consisting of blues, greens, and browns.

Contact Information
Economic Development Division
John Collum, Redevelopment Manager
[email protected]

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