Renton Pavilion Events Center redesign may finish in 2026

City accepts $1.5 million in federal funding with extended timeline of construction.

After securing federal funding, the City of Renton has moved closer to its goal of reimagining the Renton Pavilion Events Center and how it will be used for the community – but the timeline for completion of this project might be as far out as 2026.

An Agreement Amendment that would extend the completion date of the previously accepted $1,500,000 federal grant from the Small Business Administration for Logan Place Market — what the city was calling the redesign of the existing Pavilion building — and reallocate all $1,500,000 to construction expenses came before the Renton City Council during their Feb. 5 meeting.

The city previously accepted the grant for funding in the amount of $1,500,000 with Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Adam Smith’s offices during the 2023 Congressional Earmark Initiatives.

According to city documents, the requested amendment will extend the period of performance to June 30, 2026, and will reallocate all $1,500,000 to construction expenses. The request was approved by the Small Business Administration on Dec. 13, 2023.

“The project request will support a portion of the design and construction to transform the existing Pavilion into a year-round food hall and market,” the city’s amendment agreement read. “Preliminary concepts have been completed and this grant will allow the design process to begin.”

Through discussion of this process, specifics about what the redesign will include and how it will be managed have not been made entirely clear. However, in some preliminary discussions by Renton leaders and stakeholders about the potential uses for the Logan Place Market, some envisioned permanent kitchen spaces for pop-ups and ghost kitchens as well as partnerships with Renton Technical College to allow hands-on learning experiences for certain trade programs.

Plans for the Pavilion Building, first outlined in a Civic Core planning document, call for the Pavilion to be renovated into a more “vibrant” Logan Place Market with retail space, rotating vendors and business incubator space on the inside, complemented by a welcoming public square on the outside.

According to a report in the 2023-2025 Capital Budget Request, the city sees a “dire” need to refurbish the Pavilion Building to create a “new heartbeat in the center of downtown,” and to bring new opportunities and access to historically disadvantaged communities.

A lease extension for the current manager of the Renton Pavilion Events Center venue, Rain City Catering, came before the Renton City Council’s Finance Committee on Feb. 12. The lease addendum would extend Rain City Catering’s lease through Sept. 30, 2024.

“Due to the time it takes to study options and complete the design, and prepare for construction, the City and Rain City Catering are in agreement that adding an additional eight months to the lease will be beneficial to both parties and not conflict with the proposed construction schedule,” the city’s proposition read. “This will allow the city to continue to receive revenue and allow Rain City Catering to activate the Pavilion space during the planning and design phase of the project.”

According to the agreement, the city will receive $1,000 in rent per month from Rain City Catering, plus 15% of gross catering sales. The lease amendment will extend the lease for an additional eight months with no increase in lease rates. Rain City Catering will bring an estimated revenue of $8,000 plus 15% catering sales annually, while the city continues to plan the redesign of the space.

One of the owners of Rain City Catering, Kenneth Rogers, also owns Rain City Market, which opened across the street from the venue in 2022.