Welcome

Auburn, Washington

Welcomes you! Auburn is one of the oldest towns in the Pacific Northwest and one of Washington’s earliest cities, dating back to 1891. Auburn is centrally located between Tacoma and Seattle, Washington’s two largest cities. Auburn has experienced sudden growth. New businesses have come to the community, others have expanded and efforts have begun to encourage businesses to relocate to our business-friendly city. We are surrounded by natural beauty, with opportunities to enjoy year-round outdoor activities. Within the city boundaries there are 30 parks, 4 golf courses and 2 large swimming pools. Within a short distance you can hike or bike along the White and Green River trails or the Interurban Trail.

Neighboring cities of Algona and Pacific are interwoven with Auburn and are represented collectively by the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce. The mayors of each of these cities work collaboratively for the betterment of the region. Each city offers its own amenities and unique charm. Algona is a small community of 1.3 square miles and Pacific of 2.4 square miles. Though small, these communities are positively affecting the continued growth and success of our region in South King/Pierce County.


History

Downtowns across the United States are making a strong comeback, and Auburn is no different. Businesses in Auburn’s downtown offer an eclectic variety of retail, services, dining establishments and entertainment venues, all of which make living in the area even more attractive. Downtown Auburn maintains a “Main Street USA” appearance. It’s a quaint historic district that has recently undergone an entire transformation while it retains much of its historic past and embraces the future with urban-renewal projects. For example, modern-inspired residential units, such as Trek, are breathing new life into downtown.

Downtown Auburn living is both accessible and attractive for millennials, professionals and even empty-nesters. A variety of living options are available, from urban apartments to cool and funky lofts. Transportation, services, amenities and attractions are just steps from your front door. Property owners, businesses large and small and individuals have invested and succeeded in Downtown Auburn for 120 years. Since 2010, the City of Auburn has invested $10 million of federal and state funds in the South Division Street Promenade Project and other projects downtown to make it easier and more attractive for private sector investment.

The City of Auburn has:

  • Relocated public and private utilities out of alleyways to remove infrastructure barriers for redevelopment of adjacent properties
  • Upgraded water, sewer, storm and private utilities, so excess underground storm-water capacity exists for private new developments to use
  • Installed new street paving
  • Built 10 to 20 foot sidewalks and installed landscaping
  • Installed new LED streetlights throughout downtown and a new traffic signal at Main and Division streets
  • Placed new street furniture and trash receptacles
  • Installed a new ornamental gateway arch
  • Built new and improved plazas in downtown
  • Installed an outdoor rotating sculpture garden and pedestrian wayfinding kiosks

The City of Auburn eagerly works with businesses and developers that want to invest in downtown, and it offers several points of strength, starting with the right attitude, exemplified by the city’s client focus and commitment to problem solving and meeting or beating expectations. That’s not just a claim, as others who’ve done business recently with the city can attest. Auburn completed an environmental impact statement for Downtown redevelopment that eliminates the need for further review.

The Puget Sound Regional Council designation of Auburn’s downtown as a Regional Urban Center paves the way for more density and land use intensity, and the Auburn City Council approved design standards for the Downtown Urban Center, providing both flexibility and certainty to keep costs down. Auburn offers reasonable development fees. The city hasn’t changed its building, engineering or land use fees since 2009. Fees can be paid when a certificate of occupancy is issued rather than when a building permit is issued.

The city offers an eight-year exemption for qualifying market-rate multifamily housing, up to a $100,000 refund for eligible construction-related sales tax and up to a 50 percent reduction in land use, building permit and other fees. The city makes coming downtown easy because of its Comprehensive Downtown Parking Management Plan, implemented in early 2014. The plan anticipated evolving parking needs from increased investment in the area, redevelopment activity and better commuter train service. All told, the City of Auburn has made a significant contribution to ensure downtown’s vibrancy and bright future.

Source: The City of Auburn

For additional information, visit the city’s website, www.auburnwa.gov

The City of Auburn has a rich history, which traces back to the mid-1850s. The city’s website, www.auburnwa.gov, details Auburn’s history, citing Clarence B. Bagley’s “History of King County” and Josephine Emmons Vine’s “Auburn – A Look Down Main Street.”

Auburn sits 20 miles south of Seattle and was home to some of the earliest settlers in King County, Washington. Auburn is nestled in a fertile river valley, and it has been a farm community and business and industrial center for more than 150 years.

Auburn is near the original confluence of the Green and White rivers, both of which contain runoff water from the Cascade Mountain range. The valley was originally home to the Skopamish, Smalhkamish and Stkamish Indian tribes. The first white men in the region were explorers and traders who arrived in the 1830s. The valley’s first white settlers came in the 1850s.

On Oct. 27, 1855, an Indian ambush killed nine people, including women and children. In November that year, a military unit led by Lt. William Slaughter camped near what is now Auburn. On Dec. 4, 1855, a group of Indians attacked, killing Slaughter and two other men. A new treaty was written, which provided for the establishment of the Muckleshoot reservation, the only Indian reservation now within the boundaries of King County. The White River tribes collectively became known as the Muckleshoot tribe.

White settlers, the Neely and Ballard families, began returning to the area. In 1891, the town of Slaughter was incorporated. Many older citizens considered the town’s name a memorial, but many newer residents felt uncomfortable with it. Within two years, the town was renamed Auburn, taken from the first line of the poem “The Deserted Village,” by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn! Loveliest village of the plain.” Auburn had been a bustling center for hop farming until 1890, when aphids destroyed the crops. Afterward, the area had mostly dairy farms and berry farms. Flooding was a persistent problem until the Howard Hanson Dam was built in 1962.

The railroad was a major impetus for Auburn’s growth. The Northern Pacific Railroad put a rail line through town in 1883, but it was the Seattle-Tacoma Interurban line that allowed easy access to both cities starting in 1902. The Interurban enabled farmers to get their products to markets within hours after harvest. The railroad, along with better roads, prompted many new companies to set up business in Auburn, including the Borden Condensery (which made Borden’s Condensed Milk) and the Northern Clay Co.

Like many other American towns, Auburn grew through the 20th century. The 1920s were prosperous for citizens, but the Great Depression of the 1930s left many in need. World War II brought great hardship to many local Japanese farmers when they were moved to internment camps and their land was taken from them. At the same time, local boys were sent to fight in the Pacific, and some died in battle.

The postwar era was prosperous for Auburn, bringing more businesses and a community college to the city. In 1963, The Boeing Co. built a large plant to mill sheet metal skin for jet airliners. As time went on, many farms disappeared as the land was converted to industrial use. In the 1990s, a large mall was built in the valley, attracting consumers from all over the Puget Sound region.

Auburn has made the transition from small farms to large industries, but much of the city’s history remains. A monument in memory of Lt. Slaughter, erected in 1918, still stands in a local park. The Neely Mansion, built by the son of a pioneer in 1891, has been refurbished and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Auburn’s downtown still maintains a “Main Street U.S.A.” appearance.

THE WHITE RIVER VALLEY MUSEUM

This fascinating museum provides an in-depth look at the rich history of Auburn. Visitors may view art pieces and historic artifacts. The museum is located in Les Gove Park. Hours are Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and every first Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children or seniors. Admission is free every first Thursday and third Sunday. For more information, call (253) 288-7433.

HISTORIC BUILDINGS

The Department of Historic Preservation has designated several buildings in Auburn as national and state treasures:

  • Auburn Post Office, 20 Auburn Ave. NE
  • Auburn Carnegie Public Library, 306 Auburn Ave.
  • Oscar Bloomeen House, 324 B St. NE
  • Masonic Temple-Auburn, 10 Auburn Way S
  • Neely Mansion, East Auburn off Washington Highway 18
  • Patton Bridge, Green Valley Road

2018 Events

March 20
State of the Cities Luncheon

April 3
High School Career Conference

April 25 (Wednesday)
State of Education Luncheon

May 4
Business Expo & Hiring Fair

May 4
Mayors Cup Golf Tournament

May 15
State of King County Luncheon

June 19
Leadership Graduation & Summit

July 17
Year in Review Luncheon

August TBA
New Teacher Appreciation

September 26
Spotlight on Business Awards Dinner

October 16
Candidates Forum Luncheon

October 24
Spirit of Hiring Event

November 16
Holiday Casino & Auction Night

December 13
Mega Holiday Mixer @the Chamber


Recreation and Entertainment

Enjoy exploring Auburn’s beautiful trails on foot, by bike or on horseback. Check out some of our area’s top trails. The popular Interurban Trail parallels the Union Pacific Railroad and runs north to south through Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Algona and Pacific. It is approximately 17 miles long, with 4.5 miles running through Auburn. The trail can be accessed at Main Street and 15th Street SW, The Outlet Collection and 37th Street NW. The trail is the primary north and south route suitable for nonmotorized travel between valley communities. Roegner Park is home to the White River Trail, which extends along the White River to the Game Farm Wilderness Park for 2.25 miles. It has a wide asphalt path and a soft surface trail for horses. This area is particularly beautiful in the fall when hues of reds, oranges and yellows brighten the trail. The Lakeland Linear Trail starts at Evergreen Way along Lakeland Hills Way and connects with Sunset Park. At Sunset Park, there are several loops ranging from a half-mile to 1 mile in length. Trail lovers can also trek down Lake Tapps Parkway and walk along the asphalt trail connecting to Evergreen Way for 1.62 miles. For a complete list of trails for all levels of experience, visit www.trailink.com.

Auburn offers a variety of entertainment and attractions, including the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Emerald Downs, the Neely Mansion, Pacific Ballroom Dance, White River Amphitheater, Muckleshoot Casino/Iron Horse Casino and White River Valley Museum.

AUBURN AVENUE THEATER
10 Auburn Ave. • Auburn, WA 98002, (253) 833-5678
A historic theater that boasts a tradition of live, quality performing arts, variety entertainment, children’s shows, dance and music, right in the heart of downtown Auburn.

AUBURN PERFORMing ARTS CENTER (APAC)
915 4th St. NE, Auburn, WA 98002, (253) 931-4827
Enjoy a wide array of comedy, music, dance and theater options showcasing talent at affordable prices compared to those of larger cities.

AUBURN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
P.O. Box 2186, Auburn, WA 98071
(253) 887-7777, www.auburnsymphony.org
In 1996, the symphony’s founding conductor and music director Stewart Kershaw assembled a talented group of regional musicians. The symphony has musicians and ensembles available to perform for schools and community groups. Its home is the Auburn Performing Arts Center in downtown. Chamber concerts are at Auburn’s St. Matthew Episcopal Church and at the historic Mary Olson Farm in the summer.

EMERALD DOWNS
2300 Ron Crockett Dr., Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 288-7000, emeralddowns.com
LP Emerald Downs offers horseracing, the Washington Racing Hall of Fame, restaurants and group, corporate and custom events.

IRON HORSE CASINO
333 15th St. NE, Auburn, WA 98002
(253) 833-7100, www.ironhorsecasinos.com
The casino offers a variety of table games, tournaments, live entertainment and dining.

MUCKLESHOOT BINGO
2117 Auburn Wy. S, Auburn, WA 98002
(253) 735-2404, www.muckleshootbingo.com
Everyone 18 years of age and older can play. With 21 live bingo sessions every week, running day and night seating for over 1,000, there’s plenty of room, and a wide variety of bingo packages to please players from beginner to advanced. Open 24 hours a day, with your choice of both smoking and non-smoking setting.

MUCKLESHOOT CASINO
2402 Auburn Wy. S, Auburn, WA 98002
(800) 804-4944, www.muckleshootcasino.com
The biggest casino in the Pacific Northwest, where there are more than 3,100 games to play, and the most smoke-free gaming in the state, Muckleshoot Casino also provides eight delectable dining experiences, and free entertainment at Club Galaxy.

NEELY MANSION ASSOCIATION
12303 Auburn Black Diamond Rd., Auburn, WA 98092
(253) 833-9404, www.neelymansion.org
The volunteer, nonprofit historical society was incorporated in 1983 to restore the Neely Mansion. In 1985, it merged with the defunct Auburn Arts Council and took ownership of the Neely Mansion. The mansion is on the National Register for Historic Places and the Washington Register for Historic Sites, and is a designated King County Landmark. Summertime and special tours are available, and the mansion can be rented for events.

PACIFIC BALLROOM DANCE
1604 15th St. SW, Ste. 109, Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 335-7569, www.pacificballroom.org
Offers ballroom dancing classes and dances for youth and adults.

PACIFIC RACEWAYS
31001 144th Ave. SE, Kent, WA 98042
(253) 639-5927, www.pacificraceways.com
Enjoy the sights and sounds in a world class race course set against the backdrop of beautiful Pacific Northwest scenery. Whether it’s watching drag racing, motocross, or seeing exotic or vintage cars, be close to the exhilarating action.

REGAL AUBURN STADIUM 17
1101 Outlet Collection Wy., Auburn, WA 98001
(844) 462-7342, www.regmovies.com
Enjoy current movie releases in a movie stadium with state of the art visual and sound systems. Located across from the Outlet Collection.

WHITE RIVER AMPHITHEATER
40601 Auburn Enumclaw Rd. SE, Auburn, WA 98092
(206) 802-3123, www.whiteriveramphitheater.org
The White River Amphitheater is an outdoor live music venue with a capacity of 20,000. It hosts tours and live acts throughout the summer.

WHITE RIVER VALLEY MUSEUM & MARY OLSON FARM
Museum: 918 H St. SE, Auburn, WA 98002
Farm: 28728 Green River Rd., Kent, WA 98030
(253) 288-7433, www.wrvmuseum.org
The museum’s mission is to preserve and share the history of the South King County area, known by pioneers as the White River Valley (Auburn, Kent, Algona and Pacific). The museum’s mission is expanding to include operation of the 67 acre, landmark Mary Olson Farm, which is a late 19th century farmstead east of the Green River. The museum offers permanent and temporary exhibits, exhibits for rent, educational events and programs and facility rental.


Health and Wellness

In 2015, a King County Community Health Needs Assessment report
was released indicating that south King County, including Auburn, was among the most negatively impacted areas in the state for health, housing and economic opportunity. The data showed that average life expectancy in south King County was 13 years less than other areas. It also revealed Auburn had some of the highest rates of behavioral/mental distress, obesity, smoking, diabetes, low income and unemployment.

To address these concerning findings, the Blue Ribbon Committee was formed by Mayor Backus with the goal of transforming the City of Auburn into the healthiest city in Washington by 2020.

The committee consists of volunteers with representatives from the city’s clinical partner, MultiCare Health System, and seven major stakeholders: Auburn School District, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Green River College, Valley Cities Mental Health, Auburn Valley YMCA, HealthPoint and Seattle-King County Public Health-Auburn.

The committee’s vision is “Healthy Auburn for Life,” and its mission is “To optimize the health and well-being of all through education, participation and innovation.”

The committee identified nine major health issues as top concerns for Auburn, based on the Community Health Needs Assessment:

  • Prevention and treatment of chronic diseases
  • Tobacco prevention and cessation
  • Healthy weight in adults and children
  • Behavioral/mental health and substance abuse
  • Special populations: homeless, aging and the military
  • Access to health care, quality health care, insurance, costs and primary care
  • Maternal and child health
  • Cultural diversity, quality care and communication circumstances
  • Violence and injury prevention

Of these nine health issues, the committee selected three critical issues to begin plans of improvement – healthy weight in adults and children, behavioral/mental health and substance abuse, and maternal and child health – and is identifying projects of focus that will improve health for the Auburn community.

To support The Healthiest City in Washington – 2020, the city hosts a free health and resource expo held annually in February, Healthy Auburn, featuring plenty of interactive activities for all ages. Vendors include acupuncturists, chiropractic services, massage therapists, alternative medicine, dental care, insurance services and information with King County Health department, Sea Mar and more.


Relocation

APARTMENTS

T & S Development Co.
3240 B St. NW, Ste. A • Auburn, WA 98001-1704
(253) 833-1237 • (253) 833-4177 (fax)
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

River’s Edge
1741 22nd St. NE • Auburn, WA 98002-3407
(253) 735-2125 • (253) 735-3154 (fax)

Belara at Lakeland
6170 Terrace View Ln. • Auburn, WA 98092-5517
(253) 351-8883 • (253) 351-8817 (fax)

Auburn Court SHAG Senior Apartments
102 10th St. NE, Ste. A • Auburn, WA 98002-4099
(253) 735-6662 • (253) 736-2346 (fax)

Neely Station
1433 8th St. NE • Auburn, WA 98002-4502
(253) 939-4846 • (253) 833-0245 (fax)

Estates at Hillside Gardens
1919 Howard Rd. • Auburn, WA 98002
(253) 735-0037

UTILITY COMPANIES

  • Internet Service Providers
  • Computer Sales & Service
  • Telecommunications Equipment & Service

Century Link
1600 7th Ave., Rm. 1510 • Seattle, WA 98191
(206) 733-5184 • (206) 345-0524 (fax)

Comcast Cable Communications, Inc.
4020 Auburn Wy. N • Auburn, WA 98002-1315
(253) 288-7450 • (253) 288-7500 (fax)

Net Venture
3640 S. Cedar St., Ste. E • Tacoma, WA 98409-5700
(253) 942-8400 • (253) 471-3659 (fax)

Solid Waste Disposal

Republic Services
22010 76th Ave. S • Kent, WA 98032-2452
(206) 682-9735 • (253) 872-3916 (fax)

Waste Management South Sound
701 2nd St. NW • Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 804-5730 • (253) 804-6654 (fax)

Electricity

Puget Sound Energy
3130 S. 38th St. • Tacoma, WA 98409-5615
(253) 476-6403 • (253) 476-6415 (fax)
(888) 225-5773 Customer Service

Water & Sewer

City of Auburn
1 E. Main St., 2nd Fl.
Auburn, WA 98001 • (253) 931-3038
www.auburnwa.gov/services/utilities.htm


Education

GREEN RIVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE

12401 SE 320th St.
Auburn, WA 98092
(253) 833-9111
www.greenriver.edu

Green River College is a public college that serves students locally and from around the world. Nestled beneath majestic trees, this campus offers scenic views, world-class education and on-campus living for students living abroad.

AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT

District Office: 915 Fourth St.
Auburn, WA 98002
(253) 931-4900
www.auburn.wednet.edu

Auburn School District provides quality educational programs to K-12 students. With strong community support, the district is committed to providing a world-class education to almost 16,000 students. The district offers preschool programs, full-day kindergarten, honors and advanced-placement courses, robust career and technical-education courses and prepares students for college and career. The district encompasses a 62 mile area bridging King and Pierce counties, and serves approximately 80,000 residents in Auburn, Algona, Pacific, Lake Tapps and unincorporated areas of King County.

PHONE NUMBERS

Elementary Schools

Alpac (253) 931-4976
Arthur Jacobsen (253) 630-2441
Chinook (253) 931-4980
Dick Scobee (253) 931-4984
Evergreen Heights (253) 931-4974
Gildo Rey (253) 931-4952
Hazelwood (253) 931-4740
Ilalko (253) 931-4748
Lake View (253) 931-4830
Lakeland Hills (253) 876-7711
Lea Hill (253) 931-4982
Pioneer (253) 931-4986
Terminal Park (253) 931-4978
Washington (253) 931-4988

Middle Schools

Cascade (253) 931-4995
Mt. Baker (253) 804-4555
Olympic (253) 931-4966
Rainier (253) 931-4843

High Schools

Auburn (253) 931-4880
Auburn Mountain View (253) 804-4539
Auburn Riverside (253) 804-5154
West Auburn (253) 931-4990

OTHER LOCAL SCHOOLS

Auburn Adventist Academy
5000 Auburn Wy. S
Auburn, WA 98092-7204
(253) 939-5000 • (888) 271-0808 • www.auburnacademy.org

Buena Vista Seventh Day Adventist School
3320 Academy Dr. SE • Auburn, WA 98092-7341
(253) 833-0718 • buenavista22.adventistschoolconnect.org

Green River Montessori School, LLC
1116 Harvey Rd. • Auburn, WA 98002-4250
(253) 833-7010  grmontessori.com

Muckleshoot Tribal School
15209 SE 376th St. • Auburn, WA 98092
(253) 931-6709 • www.muckleshoottribalschool.org


Getting Around

Auburn is consistently adding to transportation offerings, creating accessibility for residents, visitors and commuters to ease commute times and reduce carbon footprint and the number of cars on the road during the week.

public transportation

Auburn works with Metro, Pierce and Sound Transit to coordinate and improve service in the city. For additional information, visit
www.auburnwa.gov/about/public_transportation.

Sound Transit Commuter Train

The Sounder train station is only a few minutes walk to downtown Auburn. Enjoy a nice, relaxed 20-minute ride into downtown Seattle and avoid the hassle of finding parking. There are 10 morning and 10 evening Sounder departures weekdays.

For additional information, visit www.soundtransit.org