Downtown Riverfront Steam Plant
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, the EWEB Riverfront Master Plan emphasizes the community’s wish to reveal the “layers of history” embedded in the site to create this special, historically significant place. Its unique position as an icon of Eugene’s industrial past and location within 50 feet of the top of the riverbank calls for the plant to be preserved and repurposed as an important historical landmark at the east end of the Downtown Riverfront property.
Steam Plant Redevelopment
The City is currently in negotiations with a development team led by Mark Miksis, of deChase Miksis, and Mark Frohnmayer, of Arcimoto for the redevelopment of the Steam Plant. The team proposes to save and adaptively re-use the Steam Plant, transforming it into a vibrant mixed-use center that maximizes public participation and enjoyment. The ground floor would look out to the river, drawing the public in for art, music, food, and drink. The upper levels of the building would include office spaces that would provide the fiscal foundation to make the redevelopment feasible.
The Agency Board is tentatively scheduled to discuss deal points for the Steam Plant project at their November 18 work session. More information will be available closer to then.
On April 23, 2018, the Agency Board approved a process for the redevelopment of the Steam Plant and criteria to guide the process. The approved process and criteria can be found below:
- Steam Plant Disposition Process Opens a New Window.
- Steam Plant Disposition Criteria Opens a New Window.
The Agency issued a Request for Qualifications from visionary teams for the redevelopment of the Steam Plant. The Agency received four submissions to the RFQ. The RFQ and submissions can be found below:
In August 2018, the City invited the development team led by Mark and Mark to prepare a full proposal for the redevelopment of the Steam Plant. The development team engaged in a robust due diligence process to develop their full proposal for the Steam Plant’s redevelopment.
The local team and the City launched a community outreach campaign on in January 2019 to solicit feedback on the proposed concepts. Click here to read the online survey results.
In April 2019, the River Guides evaluated the proposal and recommended moving into negotiations with the development team. On April 24, the Agency Board directed the Agency Director to negotiate deal points with the team.
Steam Plant’s History
Constructed in 1931 this 28,000 square foot multi-story masonry and steel structure was built to house three steam boilers and turbines. The industrial deco-style building is historically significant for its original use in generating standby electrical power to the pumps bringing river water in to the city’s original water treatment plant, and beginning in 1962, to supply district heating to downtown businesses. Steam Plant operations ceased in 2012 and the building is currently vacant.
More information about the Steam Plant’s history can be found in this 2012 report.
Resources and Additional Information
- State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) summary
- EWEB Riverfront Master Plan - complete document
- Downtown Riverfront Special Area Zone (Eugene Code)
- Steam Plant Drawings
- Summary of Steam Plant environmental abatement activities and documents available by request
- Williams & Dame’s initial concepts for the Downtown Riverfront redevelopment