Renton Library

Developer: King County Library System

Type of Development: Community Facility

Owner: City of Renton

Cty and State: Renton, WA

Contact Person: Michelle Morlan, National Development Council

Phone: 206.790.2706

Contact Email: [email protected]

Allocation Amount Requested: $11,700,000

Brief Description of Development:

A new $12 million 14,479-square foot library in the Sunset Area of Renton will anchor a 7-acre redevelopment site within a proposed Choice Neighborhoods redevelopment area.   

IMPACTS: The Sunset Area of Renton is one of the most diverse and disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city, where 27% of households live in poverty, 75% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch and 35% of the students at the neighborhood elementary school have limited English proficiency. According to a City of Renton Community Needs Assessment, unemployment rates in the Sunset Area are higher than both Renton and King County.  Additionally, Sunset Area residents have many of the demographic characteristics identified with obstacles to employment, including a significant population of immigrants, non-English speakers and persons with low educational attainment. In addition to new FTE job creation, the library expansion serves as an essential bridge to address the many barriers to employment for this community.  New programs for children and youth, more computer skills training, more resources for job-hunters and adult education offerings such as English as a Second Language programs will all be available.  The new library will include much more open space and almost twice the number of computers available for public use (increasing from 19 to approximately 36), plus a 1,000-square foot (96-person) community room, a significantly larger children s area and a new dedicated teen area.  The library anticipates more than 10,000 visits per month and 118,000 visits per year.  The expanded library will employ approximately 26 to 29 people, including 22 current employees and 4 to 7 new employees.

READINESS:  The project is ready to proceed immediately.  The City closed on site acquisition in late May.  Building permit application is in review and KCLS expects to be ready to close on all financing and start construction in July of this year, subject to the receipt of a New Markets Tax Credit allocation and the related investor equity contribution to the project.

But-For Statement:

Renton has committed all available funds to the library project and the acquisition and development of a new public space adjacent to the library; yet a financing gap of $2.6M remains.  The Library’s development will be the catalyst for an additional $79 million in private investment to develop a 407-unit mixed-use, market-rate apartment development immediately adjacent to this site.  However that private developer’s interest and ability to secure financing is contingent upon the new library and the planned adjacent new park.  Without the net benefit anticipated from the NMTC transaction, the City does not have the ability to complete its portion of the development and thus the project and the larger redevelopment would not be able to move forward.

Learn more about Novogradac's expertise and many services