UO Foundation Dumps EWEB Riverfront Redevelopment Plans
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.