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Downtown Infrastructure and Theater Project

Downtown Auburn Revitalization Efforts
Main Street Infrastructure and Auburn Avenue Theater Reconstruction

downtown map

Over the course of the next few years, the City will continue efforts to re-vitalize Downtown Auburn with the Downtown Infrastructure Improvements Project. This project will replace infrastructure on Auburn Avenue and East Main Street that is at or near the end of its useful service life, make streetscape improvements that help create a welcoming environment, and start the planning and design process to replace the Auburn Avenue Theater.  Replaced infrastructure includes water, sewer, and storm utilities, roadway pavement, and sidewalks on East Main Street from Auburn Avenue to B Street SE (B Street Plaza) and on Auburn Avenue from 1st Street NE to East Main Street. The project will also replace the traffic signal at East Main Street/Auburn Avenue.

The existing Theater was structurally damaged at the end of 2021 and subsequently condemned in January 2022. The damage was due to the demolition of an adjacent building, which was the result of a fire in July 2021 that destroyed the apartment building and several businesses. Significant structural issues have resulted in the decision to demolish the existing Auburn Avenue Theater and rebuild a new Theater.

In fall of 2023, as part of the overall downtown infrastructure project, the City requested proposals for design services from qualified consultant firms. After a thorough review and evaluation of the proposals Otak Inc. was selected to provide architectural and engineering design services for delivering this project.

The City is committed to limiting inconveniences and impacts to residents and local businesses as a result of construction. During construction, access to downtown businesses will be maintained.


  • Utility work includes approx. 600 LF of new sanitary sewer, 500 LF of new water main, 150 LF of underground overhead power and communications facilities, replaced traffic signal, 3300 SY of full roadway, sidewalk, and plaza areas, pedestrian scale decorative street lighting, downtown standard street lighting, and an enhanced pedestrian crossing.


  • Infrastructure Design Completion: Fall 2024
  • Infrastructure Construction: Winter 2024/2025-Summer 2025

$1,100,000 (new traffic signal)
$2,881,866 (utility and roadway/plaza improvements)


  • Theater Demolition: The City is preparing a separate contract to demolish the existing Theater.  Demolition will likely occur in the spring of 2024.
  • Theater Redesign: Otak will advance the City’s current conceptual design to a preliminary design document for a new 290-310 seat (up to 10,300 SF) performing arts theater. This will allow the design team to develop an opinion of probable construction costs for future budget planning purposes.
  • New Theater Construction: Full design and construction costs to rebuild the Auburn Avenue Theater is not secured or part of this current project, however the City will continue to seek additional funding sources as this project progresses.


Theater Demo and Schematic Design:
$228,200 (insurance claim reimbursement)
$100,000 (King County Grant)

Theater Detailed Design & Construction – Secured Funds:
$1,498,650 (WA State Grant)

Additional Theater Funding Options/Opportunities – Ongoing Efforts

  • Additional Grants
  • Park Impact Fees
  • ARPA Funding Reallocation
  • Real Estate Excise Taxes
  • Bond Issuance


  • Existing Theater Demolition: Spring 2024
  • New Theater 30% Design: Summer 2024
  • New Theater Cost Analysis:  Summer 2024

theater damage