On Wednesday, January 26 the Eugene City Council acting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board unanimously voted to approve terms of sale for the redevelopment of the Historic Steam Plant at the Downtown Riverfront. With the approval of the proposed terms, the Urban Renewal Agency (Agency) and developer Dream Plant can enter into a development agreement that would enable Dream Plant to start its due diligence. The team would close on the property and start construction no later than September 30, 2023, if the proposed terms are met and if both parties have identified the necessary funding during due diligence. Construction would take approximately 18 months.
Located prominently along the banks of the Willamette River, the Steam Plant is an iconic testament to Eugene’s history and is on the verge of its second life as a home to food, drink, art, innovation and more. The redevelopment of the Steam Plant is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform a grand, historic structure into an active destination for Eugeneans and visitors alike. Unfortunately, after years of disuse, general aging and because of the very specialized role it was built for, the building will need considerable investment and restoration before it can be usable.
In 2019, after a competitive request for qualifications process, a local team led by Mark Miksis of deChase Miksis and Mark Frohnmayer of Arcimoto was invited to prepare a full proposal for the Steam Plant. This local development team, now known as Dream Plant, LLC presented their proposal in spring of 2019.
The Dream Plant’s proposal is estimated to cost about $56M. This takes into account several factors, including the current state of repair, historic preservation requirements, the challenges of retrofitting for accessibility, and the escalation of construction costs.
With a combination of debt and equity, including historic tax credits, Dream Plant will work to secure $49.3M in private funding. The Agency’s approved public investment of approximately $1.5M would be about 3% of the total project cost. The development team is working with the City to identify $5.2M (9% of total project cost) to close the funding gap for the project.
The following are key elements of the proposed terms with Dream Plant (full proposed terms can be found in the January 26 work session, Agenda Item Summary – Attachment A):
- Dream Plant will list the property on the National Historic Register.
- Dream Plant is pursuing hotel and office space uses in the upper floors to establish a fiscal foundation for the building. Any changes to those uses would be subject to Agency Director approval prior to the end of due diligence. The ground floor includes space for art, music, food, and drink.
- The City and Dream Plant will enter into an agreement for the non-exclusive use and exclusive concession rights of the Southern Plaza (which includes the overlook), including maintenance responsibilities.
- The Agency will sell the property to Dream Plant for $1.
- Agency will abate the remaining asbestos around Boiler 1, estimated to be $350K in 2019.
- Agency will pay the system development charges and permit fees (approximately $1.1M).
- The Agency and Dream Plant will work together to identify funding and strategies to cover the remaining funding gap of $5.2M.
- The City/Agency will work with Dream Plant to identify 125 potential off-site parking spaces.
- Closing on the property and commencement of construction shall occur no later than September 30, 2023.
The adjacent Downtown Riverfront timing includes:
- Park open: Spring 2022
- 8th/Hilyard crossing open: July 2022
- Atkins Dame redevelopment starts construction: 2022
Visit the website for more information:
Downtown Riverfront Steam Plant
Downtown Riverfront Park