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UO Foundation Dumps EWEB Riverfront Redevelopment Plans

UO Foundation

The University of Oregon Foundation dropped a bombshell Tuesday when it announced it would not pursue the redevelopment of EWEB's riverfront property in downtown Eugene.

Eugene Water & Electric Board Commissioners chose the UO Foundation last October over two Portland developers to transform the utility's 17-acre diamond in the rough property along the Willamette River. But the Foundation has now backed out, saying the deal is too financially risky.

EWEB's General Manager Roger Gray says they're disappointed in the Foundation's decision, but they believe the property holds enormous potential to become a world-class, vibrant, mixed-use development. Gray says significant progress has been made in the past six months with a community-supported vision for redeveloping the riverfront property and they'll continue to work with the City of Eugene.

Jon Ruiz, Eugene City Manager, issued a statement saying they will continue working with EWEB. They also will keep working on park planning for the riverfront property, as well as other issues such as the railroad quiet zone and the 8th avenue crossing. Ruiz says he's confident there are private investment and development partners that will step up, now that the UO Foundation is stepping down.

Angela Kellner is the KLCC host of All Things Considered and a reporter. Angela began as a KLCC volunteer in 1991 when she was in high school. While a student at Lane Community College, she was hired in 1993 for a work-study position in the KLCC Music Department and has been with the station in some role since then. Angela hosted KLCC's world music program Tropical Beat for 11 years from 1994 to 2005 and continues to fill in on a monthly basis.
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