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Eugene Entrepeneur Leases County Land for Mixed-Use Project

Tiffany Eckert

Lane County got a new tenant today (Monday). Businessman and former Eugene Mayor Brian Obie entered into a 99-year lease with the county to build a mixed-use development project near 5th Street Public Market. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert attended the signing ceremony on the future site.

Standing across from the Inn at the Fifth he built two years ago, Brian Obie signed the lease. Flanked by Lane County representatives, Obie said his plan to create housing and commercial space for a variety of socioeconomic groups is an important public/private endeavor.

Brian Obie: "We're gonna bring real, I believe, real urban dwelling to Eugene for the first time. And create, hopefully an example for others to follow that will provide living in the core of this community and provide vitality and opportunity and everything that goes along with that."

Under the lease agreement, Obie's company Market District will develop a 64-unit publicly subsidized housing complex on the property at 6th and Oak streets. Along with a grocery store and movie theater, Obie says they will resurrect the historic Farmer's Producer's Market which first opened on September 15, 1915. 

Brian Obie: "So, it's our goal, our fervent goal to break ground here, on September 15, 2015, one hundred years later."

Lane County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis says because Obie is leasing the land, financing can be complicated. She says he and Market District continue to seek public input. The re-development project is expected to cost $54 million dollars.

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Something to crow about. Businessman Brian Obie (second from right) and interim Lane County Administrator Alicia Hays (front left) smile after signing a 99-year lease for a mixed use re-development project on county property at 6th and Oak streets in Eugene.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.