The Lane County Farmers Market returned to Eugene’s Park Blocks in the 1970s and has become a vital source of quality local produce and a cornerstone of downtown activity. For many years, the Farmers Market has expressed a need and desire to establish a larger and more prominent, year-round market in downtown. To meet this need, the City of Eugene built a permanent pavilion with an expanded plaza in the Park Blocks which will allow the market to serve the community all year-round long.
One of the priorities the City heard most clearly in talking to the community about the future of parks and recreation in Eugene, is providing access to the river – for everything from recreation to simply enjoying the views. The 3-acre Downtown Riverfront Park is the heart of the greater riverfront development that reimagines a new, vibrant future and unites our city with the river.
The oldest standing structure on the Downtown Riverfront property, the Steam Plant has the potential to connect Eugene's future to its past. As part of the Downtown Riverfront Redevelopment, its unique position as an icon of Eugene’s industrial past calls for the plant to be preserved and re-purposed as an active development at the east end of the Downtown Riverfront property.
The City of Eugene, Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB), the Lane Council of Governments, and the Technology Association of Oregon have partnered to construct EUGNet, a municipally owned fiber network in downtown Eugene. EUGNet is an open-access network—EWEB owns the fiber infrastructure and private ISPs (internet service providers) provide service to individual customers using that fiber infrastructure. Any qualified ISP is able to lease the fiber.
This landmark $55 million project greatly contributes to the vitality of downtown Eugene. Housing 250 beds, the residential building is LEED Gold certified while the 90,000 square foot academic building is LEED Platinum certified and includes state-of-the-art classrooms, lecture halls, and an energy management lab. The buildings were constructed to achieve an energy performance of 50% better than Oregon code and showcase heating, cooling, and ventilation systems that create a “living laboratory.”
This $31 million investment supports an informed community, lifelong learning and the love of reading by providing access for all city residents to the universe of ideas and information. The Library provides a variety of informational, educational, and recreational materials. The Library has been rated a "Star Library," placing it among the top three percent of public libraries for excellence in delivering key services per dollar.
LTD's downtown station serves as the primary transit hub for the 111 buses it operates for regular services. In addition to the fixed bus routes, LTD operates the Emerald Express (EmX) transit line from downtown Eugene to the Gateway area in north Springfield, via downtown Springfield. All LTD buses are wheelchair-accessible and the district currently operates 45 hybrid-electric buses.
Fulfilling the community’s long-held vision of turning a vacant, inaccessible and empty riverfront lot into a vibrant, active, and accessible riverfront neighborhood and community destination is currently underway. The City's Urban Renewal Agency now owns 16 acres of riverfront property that will become Eugene’s riverfront neighborhood – directly connecting our downtown and campus areas to the river and creating more access points for the community to enjoy.
Broadway Commerce Center
This mixed-use development offers ground floor retail, restaurant use, and multi-tenant office space. Public funding for this project included a $7.89 million loan from the City’s Urban Renewal Agency, a $2 million loan with funds from the Brownfield Economic Development Initiative, and a $350,000 loan from the City’s Downtown Revitalization Loan Program.
This $11 million investment features ground floor retail space, office space, and on-site parking. To support this project, the City transferred its $6.9 million Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds allocation to allow the bank financing on the project to achieve tax-exempt status to generate a lower interest rate. The City also provided a $1.3 million Downtown Revitalization Loan.
First on Broadway
Active ground floor commercial space and housing in the heart of downtown were created by this project. This public-private partnership included Urban Renewal Funds for gap financing for acquisition and construction, which has been repaid in full. Additionally, the City of Eugene approved a Multi-unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE).
Northwest Community Credit Union
This $15 million development supports the overall mix of uses envisioned for a vibrant, prosperous, inviting downtown connected to the riverfront. This project supports downtown as a strong regional center and draws a significant number of employees to this key downtown location. The building has achieved LEED Silver status, and has been utilized for green building and facility educational tours within the community.
In 2013, Eugene City Council approved the Core Campus Multi-unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) application for development of The Hub. The 12 story, $44 million project will include a total of 197 units with 501 bedrooms. Construction is estimated to be complete in summer of 2015. In years 6 through 10 of the exemption, the HUB will pay a total of $1,030,000 to the City for affordable housing.
Park Place Apartments
This renovation project converted former city offices into needed downtown housing. The apartments are in the heart of Eugene, helping meet the existing demand for housing by revitalizing the building. To support this project, the City of Eugene sold the building to the developer and approved a Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) for redevelopment.
The Inn at the 5th
The City of Eugene leveraged over $11 million by providing $600,000 in Business Development Fund (BDF) loans to the Inn at Fifth Street Market, LLC for a new hotel in the northwest corner of the 5th Street Market. Hotel accommodations in the heart of downtown Eugene help meet demand for accommodations in the city and increase the community’s ability to hold more and larger events.