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Sixth Street "Market District" Development Moving Forward

Karen Richards

The design phase is moving forward to develop the “Market Street District” on 6th Street in downtown Eugene. Friday marked the first of three public input sessions.

The two-acre site stretches from Oak to Pearl, across from the Fifth Street Market. Developers envision the area as a mix of retail and housing. Some of the units will be available at below market rates. Steve Ochs is with the Housing and Community Services Agency or HACSA.

Ochs: “We’re trying to come up with design guidelines that we can then go back to the County with to take the next step in the development.”

HACSA and the Obie Companies are asking for public input on seven aspects of the design. Lane County Commissioners will need to approve the plan, because the groups have a 99-year lease from the county.

Brian Obie wants people to live in the city center. The businessman, who also owns the Fifth Street Public Market, sees other budding downtown projects as benefits:

Obie: “Whether it be the potential Whole Foods or the permanent place for the Farmer’s Market which is just a block away or the EWEB project, I think it really puts us at the center of the action, if you will.”

A year ago, Obie suggested a grocery store or the Farmer’s Market as possible tenants. This spring, he wants to capitalize on other downtown activity. The groups hope to break ground in the fall of 2015.

The first public forum takes place today (Friday) under the white tent on 6th street between Oak and Pearl until 6:00. Two more public sessions are scheduled for Friday, June 6th and Friday, June 27th.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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