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It's (Jack)hammer Time...Groundbreaking Happens For 5th Street Market Expansion

Brian Bull

Dozens gathered in downtown Eugene today for a groundbreaking ceremony. It kicked off the 5th Street Public Market expansion…the largest private commercial development in the city’s history. 

Standing behind a golden jackhammer, Obie Companies Vice President Casey Barrett talked up the $75 million expansion.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Obie Companies' president Brian Obie (left) and its vice-president, Casey Bartell (right) fire up the crowd.

“We want urban housing, we want a vibrant commercial base in our downtown corridor create a destination.”

The jackhammer was a hit. Obie executives and city officials took turns breaking apart the hard soil near where a hotel, retail-office space, and apartment building will all be built.

Among those attending was Jacob Fox, of Homes For Good. His agency is a project partner, with plans to build a low-rent apartment building adjacent to the expansion.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, at today's groundbreaking.

“I think it’s really a sign of our growing maturity as a community that these public-private partnerships are occurring more and more.”

Construction is set to finish in fall 2020.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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