Urban Renewal in Eugene
Urban Renewal or Tax Increment Financing is a tool used by municipalities to finance improvements and redevelopment in specific areas of a city by reinvesting the increase in the area’s property taxes. Eugene has two urban renewal districts: the Downtown Urban Renewal District and the Riverfront Urban Renewal District. More information about both districts can be found below.
What’s Happening with Riverfront Urban Renewal?
For more information on the redevelopment of the former EWEB industrial yard into the Downtown Riverfront neighborhood, visit the Downtown Riverfront webpage.
In November 2022, the Urban Renewal Agency directed staff to bring back a proposal to amend the Riverfront Urban Renewal District to expand its financial capacity. Click here to view the work session materials and watch the webcast.
On September 13, 2023, City Council (acting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board) began the Plan amendment process that includes increasing the spending limit by up to $45 million, clarifying existing projects that remain eligible for urban renewal funds, and expanding the list of projects eligible for urban renewal funds to include: support for new housing development, physical improvements in the Riverfront Urban Renewal Plan Area (Plan Area) to address safety and comfort; and projects directed or initiated by the Agency Board. Click here to view the work session materials and watch the webcast.
On October 16, 2023, Council held a Public Hearing on the proposed ordinance to amend the Riverfront Urban Renewal Plan. The webcast and meeting materials can be found at this link.
On November 15, 2023, Council continued to discuss the Plan amendment and directed staff to update the proposed Plan amendment to include a spending limit increase of $75 million. Staff anticipates bringing the updated proposed amendment to Council in January 2024. Click here to view the November 15 work session materials and watch the webcast.
Learn more about the Riverfront Urban Renewal Advisory Committee (River Guides) who advise the Agency Board on activities in the District.
Click below to read about some of the guiding documents for the district:
What's Happening with Downtown Urban Renewal?
In June 2022, when considering the future of the Downtown Urban Renewal District, City Council gave direction to bring back a list of projects that would guide work in downtown Eugene. After four months of active outreach and conversations with residents, businesses, and organizations, city staff compiled a draft list of Downtown Priorities and Projects organized into six categories: Housing, Public Safety, Social Services, Commercial Activity & Development, Public Spaces & Mobility, and Events & Culture. The possible projects were pulled from ideas from the community, staff, and existing City policies and plans.
Staff provided an overview of the draft list of Downtown Priorities and Projects to City Council (as the Urban Renewal Agency Board) at the January 25, 2023 work session. At that work session, the Agency Board directed staff to bring back a proposal to amend the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan.
On June 12, 2023, City Council voted to amend the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan, making $50 million available for projects to address downtown community priorities. The amendment identifies three focus areas of possible projects:
- Housing (including property acquisition for the development of housing and financial assistance to cover the cost of permits and fees for development of new housing in the downtown);
- Physical Improvements to Address Safety and Comfort (including street, curb, alley, and sidewalk improvements, streetscape projects, and pedestrian, bike, and multi-modal transportation improvements); and
- Emerging Projects Directed or Initiated by the Agency Board (could include open space, community facilities, and investments targeted at filling vacant and underused spaces).
Council, acting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board, discussed the amendment to the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan on April 10 and April 12, and held a public hearing on May 15. Council/Agency Board has indicated they expect to direct a majority of the funds included in the proposed new spending limit to support the creation of new housing in the downtown core. The actual project funding allocations will depend on future Agency Board budgetary action and project implementation.
Click here to view a summary of the amendment. (Updated June 13, 2023)
2020 Downtown Urban Renewal Plan Amendment
On November 24, 2020, City Council voted to amend the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan and remove the project specific cap on tax increment funds for the Farmers Market, which will make it possible for the build out of the full Farmers Market project including the pavilion (For more details on the Farmers Market visit our project website).
The 2020 Plan Amendment did not add or remove projects from the 2016 plan and did not change the district boundaries.
2016 Downtown Urban Renewal Plan Amendment
On June 13, 2016 Council amended the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan, which made the four projects eligible for urban renewal funds: High-Speed Fiber, Farmers Market Space Improvements , 1059 Willamette (Lane Community College (LCC) Old Building Redevelopment), and Park Blocks & Open Space Improvements
In addition, the approved amendment outlined a community engagement process, increased the spending limit by $19.4 million, and expanded the district boundary.
Community Review Panel
Learn more about projects approved by the Urban Renewal Agency Board and expenditures in the Downtown Urban Renewal District in the Expenditure Review Panel Reports listed below.