Renton Downtown Partnership earns Washington Main Street Community designation

The designation is expected to help grow the Renton downtown core and open opportunities for funding

The Renton Downtown Partnership will become a designated Washington Main Street Community, effective January 1, 2023 after it was awarded the honor by the Washington State Main Street Program.

The Washington State Main Street Program’s network represents 69 towns and cities utilizing a nationally proven approach to revitalize their historic downtown districts across the state.

“This recognition will increase the interest in the growing Renton downtown core, and open opportunities for funding for our program through the Washington State Main Street B&O Tax Credit Incentive Program,” said Christian Switzer, executive director of the Renton Downtown Partnership.

Since 1984, the Washington State Main Street Program has helped communities revitalize the economy, appearance, and image of their downtown commercial. The WSMSP is a program of the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, managed under contract by the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.

The program network includes two tiers – Affiliate and Main Street Community. The purpose of the Main Street Community level is to provide access to tools, networking opportunities, training and advanced resources to cities that have an independent 501c3 or 501c6 nonprofit organization dedicated solely to downtown revitalization.

“This allows businesses to make a donation to Renton Downtown Partnership and in return, earn a 75% state B&O tax credit on that amount,” said Switzer. “Main Street programs are a huge indicator of a district that is about to make a big splash as a desirable location, and Renton Downtown Partnership is excited to join the hundreds of districts across the country that are a part of this program.”

These organizations must prove they committed the necessary time and training toward community support, financial and human resources, and are implementing the Main Street Approach.

“Renton Downtown Partnership has developed programs that serve businesses and local stakeholders,” said Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street director with the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. “Their hard work paid off in this designation, but more importantly it’s brought people and progress to their historic commercial district.”

WSMSP represents a diversity of small towns and major cities across the state. According to a 2019 study conducted by Jon Stover & Associates, one in four people live within five miles of a Washington Main Street Community. That equates to 1.9 million Washingtonians who are able to benefit from welcoming, historic neighborhoods and thriving commercial districts in the places they call home.