This year has seen a business boom in Renton. As part of their downtown revitalization, the city has been working to bring new businesses in town and next week they are ready to celebrate the recent economic surge with a special event.
The Community and Economic Development department is organizing Pop-Up Downtown on Sept. 16, a celebration that’s coinciding with the unveiling of the Cortona Building – the old Renton Western Wear building — on South Third Street.
The event started as a way for the city to help two prominent businesses conduct their grand opening: Four Generals Brewing and Urban Sprouts.
Four Generals Brewing, located at Old City Hall, 229 Wells Ave. S. opened earlier this year, and provide handcrafted, “Pacific Northwest style” beer.
Urban Sprouts is re-opening in their new location at the Cortona Building, 725 S. Third St, Suite B, and is scheduled to open it’s doors during the Pop-Up Downtown event.
“We talked along the way with the owners of Four Generals Brewing and the Cortona building that we should work with them for doing a grand opening event,” said John Collum, community development project manager at the city. “Since they were coming together at about the same time, we decided to do a joint project and event with them to celebrate their businesses.”
Pop-Up Downtown is a successor of sorts to last year’s Pop-Up Piazza, a happy-hour type venue that was designed to get residents and visitors into the city.
“This year, instead of having of having it at the Piazza, we’re having it at the two places that’s having a grand opening, and we’re having some other locations in downtown,” said Collum.
But the event isn’t only focused on the two businesses. Rather, Collum said that it is a celebration of all the new businesses that have started this year. The event is also uniquely incorporating art into the various spaces to “promote [downtown] as a center of arts,” Collum added.
Not only will there be art installations in the Cortona building, but also various art galleries and vendors represented at the event.
There will also be pop-up parklets, sidewalk parking spots that are temporarily transformed into mini-parks for the day. The parklets also coincide with PARK(ing) Day, an annual international event where artist, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. These parklets, that will be in front of the Cortona building, Four Generals Brewing and The Comic Hut, 822 S. Third St., will run from noon – 8 p.m.
Visitors will be able to arrive at the newly-renovated Cortona Building, the epicenter of the event, where they will receive maps that will guide them through the day’s festivities. There will be live music, art galleries and artisan vendors throughout the downtown neighborhood that’s ready to enjoy.
Other businesses participating in the event include Bluebird Ice Cream, the Brewmaster’s Bakery, Dolcetta Artisan Sweets, Adrienne Lafaye’s Art, Arts Unlimited of Renton, Handsome Devil Ink’s and the Owl Project.
“This is an opportunity that is bringing around 20 businesses and organizations together to do an event at a grassroots level,” said Collum. “This will be a little different from what you’d typically see in downtown.”
Pop-Up Downtown is scheduled for noon to 8 p.m., Sept. 16. Festivities will start at the Cortona building, 724 S. Third St. For more information, visit http://www.rentondowntown.com/.