Turning Renton into a tech hub

RENTON, Wash. -- Along the shores of Lake Washington in Renton, there is a lot of construction going on and the area is quickly transforming.

“It was a former power plant, and when completed it will be 2.4 million square feet comprised of residential housing, a 4-star luxury hotel and a 700-thousand square foot office complex,” said Kip Spencer with Seco Development, the company behind the creation of Southport, which will include three new office buildings in Renton.

But these are no ordinary high-rise structures.

“This building rivals any building being built on the planet right now,” said Spencer.

The new office developments are being designed specifically to lure high-tech companies, and Spencer says his company is on the verge of announcing a major player in that industry that could soon call this place home.

The idea is to compete with Seattle for high-tech jobs but also to work with industries that already call the Emerald City home.

Developers are looking into creating a high-speed ferry service on Lake Washington that could transport workers from South Lake Union to Renton, bypassing the congestion on I-5 and I-405.

Ultimately, Spencer says the new buildings will bring thousands of new employees to an area that is quickly being transformed.

“What used to be a power plant employing 25 people on a good day, will have 6 to 7,000 people working or staying on a given day and that is a game changer for this region.”