Downtown Riverfront

Major transformation of Eugene’s Downtown Riverfront is underway, fulfilling the community’s long-held goal of turning a vacant, inaccessible riverfront lot into a vibrant, active, and accessible riverfront district and community destination. The redevelopment of the Downtown Riverfront has been a part of the community’s vision for decades, reinforced through numerous public engagement opportunities over several years. The City's Urban Renewal Agency now owns 16 acres of riverfront property that can 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. We have an opportunity to fulfill our community’s vision.

The City is moving ahead with a number of initiatives to begin the transformation of the Downtown Riverfront property. Explore below to find out the latest about the proposed Williams/Dame & Associates (WDA) redevelopment, Steam Plant re-use, the Riverfront Park, and how you can get involved.

  1. Latest News
  2. Williams & Dame
  3. Steam Plant
  4. Riverfront Park
  5. Get Involved

Upcoming Meetings 

  • July 17, 2019 - City Council Work Session - Downtown Riverfront Land Use Package
    (12 p.m., Harris Hall in the Lane County Public Service Building, 125 E 8th Ave)
  • July 22, 2019 - City Council Work Session & Action - Downtown Riverfront Land Use Package
    (5:30 p.m., Harris Hall in the Lane County Public Service Building, 125 E 8th Ave)

Land Use Package

The City-initiated package of land use applications necessary to implement the concept plan for the Downtown Riverfront redevelopment includes code amendments (CA 19-1), refinement plan amendments (RA 19-1), zone changes (Z 19-5), a Willamette River Greenway permit (WG 19-3), a tentative subdivision (ST 19-3), and a standards review (SDR 19-2). The entire land use package can be viewed and tracked using the planning land use application search page.

Planning Commission

Eugene's Planning Commission held an initial public hearing on the proposed adoption package on May 7, 2019. Following an open record period to consider additional testimony, the commissioners conducted deliberations at three separate meetings to reach a final recommendation to City Council: June 3, 2019 ; June 4, 2019 ; June 11, 2019

The Planning Commission's unanimous recommendation for approval of the overall land use adoption package (4:0) includes several recommended changes to the proposed code language for the Downtown Riverfront Special Area Zone (S-DR).

City Council held a Public Hearing on June 24, 2019 to provide further opportunity for public testimony. There are two follow up works sessions listed above in the Upcoming Meetings section.

Press Releases

South Bank Path Closure South Bank Path Closure Map Opens in new window

Starting the summer of 2019, the South Bank Path will close for up to two years to allow for construction of the Downtown Riverfront site, including a new path through the redevelopment Riverfront Park. The closure will be between the Peter DeFazio and the Frohnmayer bridges. Access to the path from 8th Ave. and Hilyard will be closed during parts of 2019 and 2020.

Closing the path will give crews space to safely work, as large construction equipment will be moving through the area. People are encouraged to use the Frohnmayer and DeFazio bridges to detour through Alton Baker Park. Construction is expected to be completed by Spring of 2021.

  1. Background
  2. Related Plans and Policies

Since Eugene was founded in 1865, the Willamette River has been Photo by Steve Smith - Aerialimage of EWEB and Willamette Riveran essential piece of our community’s identity. It is where Eugene Skinner created the first plat for the city, and for decades the river has provided industry and recreation opportunities for our community. As one of our proudest assets, our community has a long held vision and desire to create more access and connections to the river – places where people can hang out, meet friends, and bring their family to enjoy the riverfront.

For years, Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) housed their operations on an approximately 16-acre property along the riverfront.  Understanding the potential of this site, in 2007 EWEB and the City of Eugene began the process of transforming this property to connect Eugene’s downtown to the Willamette River and create an active place for the entire community. 

The Riverfront Master Plan was approved by the EWEB board in 2010 based EWEB Riverfront Master Planon input from more than a thousand community members. The plan outlines the creation of a world-class public park along the waterfront and a high-quality multi-use riverfront development that will reflect the community’s vision, providing economic and housing opportunities, promoting compact urban development, and enhancing natural resources. In 2013, the City Council adopted the Master Plan along with land use policies to support its implementation.

EWEB decided to sell the property to the City in 2013 after refocusing on their core mission of providing utility services to the community. The City’s Urban Renewal Agency finalized the property purchase from EWEB for $5.75 million in April 2018. Funds for the purchase came from the Riverfront Urban Renewal District. This was a key milestone in the efforts to redevelop the site.

In June 2017 the Urban Renewal Agency signed an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Williams/Dame & Associates for the riverfront redevelopment property. The ENA formally expresses Williams & Dame's interest in owning and redeveloping the property consistent with the Riverfront Master Plan. The six month agreement provides Williams & Dame time to complete due diligence activities while working with the Urban Renewal Agency toward an agreement on the redevelopment of the property. During that time, the Agency has committed to negotiate exclusively with Williams & Dame.

Downtown Riverfront Construction Timeline

Grading and riparian enhancement work to start July 2019 and finish in the fall of 2019. Infrastruct

Contact Us

  1. Amanda D'Souza

    Business Development Analyst
    99 W 10th Ave
    Eugene, OR 97401
    Ph: 541-682-5540
    Fx: 541-682-5572