Burien is a 100-year-old waterfront community with six miles of Puget Sound shoreline and expansive mountain views. Residents take pride in their neighborhood, actively preserving their saltwater accesses and protecting the appearance of their streets and public spaces. Housing ranges from starter homes to high-end homes, condominiums and apartments of all sizes, including senior apartments.
Residents and business people alike love the convenience of Burien’s hub location and great connections. You can drive north to Seattle in 12 minutes, east to Sea-Tac Airport in five minutes, and south to Tacoma or east to Bellevue in 30 minutes. The hub site means that jobs and entertainment are convenient, the parking problems are elsewhere, and a slower pace prevails in residential neighborhoods.
Burien has been busy rebuilding and reinventing itself. Downtown’s major arterial received a makeover with widened sidewalks, benches, landscaping, and old-fashioned lampposts. The new Burien Town Square in 2009 opened its first buildings, a joint King County Regional Library and Burien City Hall, and multi-story condominium/retail building. Also completed was Town Square Park at the center of the development. Town Square has reshaped the downtown area into a central gathering point for the community.
Burien’s downtown serves a large segment of the South King County population. For more than 70 years, Burien has been noted for boutique retail, professional personal services, and a large number of ethnic restaurants that attract diners from near and far. Burien’s international cuisine originates in Australia, China, El Salvador, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam. Burien’s inviting downtown features a July 4th parade, Farmers Market, Art Walks, excellent local theater and seasonal festivals, which generate year-round activity excitement. Old Burien, the historic town center, is bustling with new development, including the soon-to-be-built Highline Heritage Museum, serving the 150,000 residents of the greater Highline area.
Burien also is becoming known for its thriving health care community. Given the size of the city, Burien has an unusually large number of providers that include hospitals, health centers, clinics, private practice doctors, dentists and various wellness specialists.
Burien has been designated by the Puget Sound Regional Council as one of 25 Regional Growth Centers that will experience focused urban growth in the decades ahead. The community is embracing new approaches and technology in education, health care, development and recreation. The City of Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department in 2010 opened a newly remodeled Community Center and is planning a new recreational facility for children, teenagers and older adults, and for cultural arts programs. For many years, volunteers have supported an orchestra, live theatre, dance groups, art galleries, a pottery studio, and the 800-seat Highline Performing Arts Center.
The Highline School District, based in Burien, enjoys strong public support and has opened several new schools over the past decade. Educators are proud of the Microsoft certification class, a marine technology lab, and the Puget Sound Skills Center. Nearby Highline Community College offers a wide variety of educational and technical programs.
Burien is a diverse community, with minorities making up 38.5% of the total population, according to the 2010 census. Hispanics are Burien’s largest ethnic group, making up 20.7% of the population, with 10% Asian. More than 50 different languages are spoken in the homes of Burien area students, according to the Highline School District.
The City of Burien
has a Council- Manager form of government. The seven members of the City Council are elected at large for four –year terms. The Mayor is elected by the Council for a two-year. The City provides a range of services to its citizens. City departments include City Manager’s office, City Clerk, City Attorney, Community Development, Finance, Human Resources and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services. The City contracts with the King County Sheriff’s Office for police services, fire services are provided by Fire District 2 and North Highline Fire District. Water, sewer and power are provided by outside public and private entities. The City employs 72 FTE’s and has a 2013 budget of about $24 million.
Where is Burien?