Friday, September 11, 2009

Down she goes

The ever changing face of downtown Renton. You might have noticed on Wells Ave. S. that there is a bright orange plastic fence now erected around the front perimeter of the building that underwent such heavy damage in June during our 5 Alarm Fire. From what these workers had to share with me just yesterday, this building is going down very shortly.

Sometimes things just work out for the best - turning a near tragedy into a bonus for the community. Bob Delancey, the previous owner of the building that originally housed The Comic Den and A-1 Vacuums and Locks, didn't seem too interested in the extensive work that the city would require of him to bring the remnants of the building on Wells Ave. back up to code. Yet, his neighbor, owner of the building that houses Common Ground Coffee and Cupcakes, Harvey Ho, had often admired the adjoining building and stepped into the opportunity being afforded him. We are now beginning to see him make good on his promises to take the building in under his care.


This back view of the building let's you see once again, just how devastating that fire in June had been and how close we came to not only having this one building under reconstruction, but potentially an entire city block. Thanks yet again to our Renton Fire and Emergency Department, for saving our collective DTR butt.

I am anxious to see what will come of this little corner of our historic downtown, of which we should all be so proud to have and maintain and retain. Will Harvey keep the face of the building, and replace the rest? Will it be completely new and reborn? I will keep you posted.....

Note to readers: I understand your concern about the building in this economy laying unfinished and vacant - and when talking to Jennifer Davis Hayes at the community meeting that was held with the neighbors and shops of the area, http://thepicaroon.blogspot.com/2009/06/renton-after-fire-communityrecovery-and.html, she said that the city would make certain that the building did NOT languish and fall behind on it's renovation work. I have heard that the new owner has developed other buildings, not being "just" a landlord, so I am trying to remain hopeful.
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2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

The danger with tearing down the building is that if funding to rebuild is not in place, especially in this economy, the lot may sit like a gap tooth for years. It's always better to save historic buildings--better for the streetscape and character of the city, and better for the environment (not to mention our souls).

Lady P said...

I understand your concern - and when talking to Jennifer Davis Hayes at the community meeting that was held with the neighbors and shops of the area, http://thepicaroon.blogspot.com/2009/06/renton-after-fire-communityrecovery-and.html, she said that the city would make certain that the building did NOT languish and fall behind on it's renovation work. I have heard that the new owner has developed other buildings, not being "just" a landlord, so I am trying to remain hopeful.

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