Eugene’s vision of transforming the vacant, former EWEB industrial site into a vibrant new riverfront neighborhood took a major step forward today. The development group Williams/Dame & Associates (WDA) has signed a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with the Urban Renewal Agency (Agency) of the City of Eugene to move forward with the Downtown Riverfront redevelopment, which has been a shared community goal for decades. The City chose WDA for its experience and commitment to bringing this beautiful new neighborhood to fruition for the benefit of all Eugeneans.
“This is another milestone as we work to fulfill the community’s long held vision of connecting our downtown to the Willamette River,” said Jon Ruiz, Eugene City Manager. “I feel confident that WDA will develop a neighborhood that, combined with our new park, will draw people from near and far to visit and enjoy our waterfront.”
Based on the agreed-upon terms, WDA will purchase approximately 8 acres of raw, unimproved land for $2.7 million. In addition, WDA will lease or purchase two parcels of land from the Agency for future commercial and restaurant space. The new neighborhood will include a mix of market-rate and affordable housing, commercial businesses, a restaurant, open space, and a hotel, all of which will complement the new Downtown Riverfront Park and plaza. The redevelopment will add upwards of 300 units of housing to the downtown core and establish new connections and access points to the Willamette River for community members.
In addition to outlining the terms of WDA’s concept plan, the DDA also covers several other terms that will guide the redevelopment process. These include schedule and timing expectations, design requirements, and infrastructure investments. Based on the Agency Board-approved terms, WDA and the Agency will split the infrastructure improvement costs. See more details of the agreement.
“We are thrilled to sign this agreement, which will guide the transformation of Eugene’s riverfront into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood,” said Jim Atkins, Executive Vice President of Williams/Dame & Associates. “Throughout this process, we have worked hard to listen to the community’s needs and fulfill the vision of the City’s master plan. We look forward to building a neighborhood that is sustainable, inclusive, respectful of history, and seamlessly connected to downtown Eugene, the Willamette River and adjacent open spaces.”
Over the next year, the City/Agency and WDA will be working on a number of actions to make the proposed redevelopment a reality. Several of these – land use code amendments, budget authorization, Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption, and creating a Local Improvement District (LID) – will require action by the Council/Agency Board and will provide a number of opportunities for public involvement.
Site preparation work, including demolition, is slated to start this spring and be completed by November 2019. Park and infrastructure construction is scheduled to begin in spring of 2020, and to be finished by spring of 2021. This work will include the 3-acre linear park, infrastructure, utilities, and roads. Construction of the buildings on the northern end of the site would also begin during this time.
The DDA is the culmination of a robust public review process. The Agency entered an exclusive negotiating agreement with WDA in August 2017. On January 31, 2018, after several months of close collaboration with City staff, the firm and its design partner, SERA Architects of Portland, presented a refined site plan and overall design concept that was consistent with the City’s long term goals, particularly those articulated in its 2010 Master Plan. Public workshops were held in June of 2018 to present the concept and collect community input. On July 23, 2018, the City’s Urban Renewal Agency Board unanimously approved the terms for the DDA.
See background information, concept plans, and up-to-date information on the Downtown Riverfront.
About The Design/Development Team
Williams/Dame & Associates is a Portland-based real estate development firm with an organic approach to urban transformation. We collaborate with public and private partners to create unique neighborhoods that blend quality housing, vibrant street life and new business opportunities. The firm has led the redevelopment of the Pearl and South Waterfront Districts in Portland, Oregon, as well as the “South” neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles. The Eugene Riverfront design team includes SERA Architects of Portland, which designed the Tate project and the Erb Memorial Union Building renovation and addition in Eugene.
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