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Renton photo montage shows the training facility of the Seahawks; the Boeing 737 plant; Jimi Hendrix grave site; and Southport on Lake Washington (GeekWire Photos / Kevin Lisota)

The hometown of Boeing’s 737. The birthplace of Magic: The Gathering. And the final resting spot of Jimi Hendrix.

GeekWire is hitting the road next week, reporting from the southern shores of Lake Washington and the City of Renton.

Why are we doing this?

While GeekWire is headquartered in The Center of the Universe — Seattle’s quirky Fremont neighborhood — we want to get out and explore changing communities around us. What better place to start than Renton, which is attempting to hold onto to its longtime industrial roots while also positioning for a high-tech future.

Close readers of GeekWire may remember our fun GeekWire HQ2 experiment earlier this year, where we set up shop and reported from Pittsburgh for a month. We returned from that trip inspired, and determined that there were hidden pockets in our own backyard that needed deeper exploration.

Renton is not fancy — like nearby Bellevue — nor is it hip — like its neighbor Seattle, just 11 miles to the northwest. Rents and housing prices also are not nearly as expensive in Renton as those two cities, driving a population boom, a new-found energy and hope among some that the city at the mouth of the Cedar River could be poised for a major boom.

How is Renton dealing with this change? Is a tech scene developing? And, finally, what does the future hold for a city that may be best known for the dreaded “S-curves” along Interstate 405?

Those are some of the questions we’ll be asking, as we take root in Renton for the week of October 28th. We’re planning a series of stories for next week, and our reporters are already busy at work, interviewing political, business and civic leaders.

Renton Mayor Denis Law, left, interviewed by GeekWire reporter Taylor Soper in advance of GeekWire’s in-depth coverage of the city, which kicks off October 28th. (City of Renton Photo / Ava Van)

But we need your help to tell this story. Know an interesting tech angle, personality, startup or something else about Renton? We’d love to hear from you. Please send along ideas to us at tips@geekwire.com.

Also, as part of this exciting voyage, we will be hosting a live recording of the GeekWire podcast on Nov. 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency at Southport. The event is open to the public, and we are hoping to get a strong showing from our loyal readers in south King County! Tickets are just $5, and we will be donating proceeds to a non-profit which is doing good work in the community. We hope you can join us! Tickets available here.

Editor’s note: A big thanks to Seco Development, the creators of the Southport on Lake Washington, for serving as the underwriting sponsor of this kickoff of the GeekWire on the Road series. 

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