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City Club of Eugene: Eugene Riverfront Redevelopment: A River Runs Through It

Program Date: April 2, 2021

Air Date: April 5, 2021

From The City Club of Eugene:

Eugene has turned its back on the Willamette River for more than a hundred years. Finally, after more than a decade of planning, public process, and negotiations, the City of Eugene and private developers are taking the next steps in the Downtown Riverfront Redevelopment project in Eugene.  Developers Dike Dame and Jim Atkins of Atkins Dame Inc. in Portland are forging ahead with ambitious plans for the former Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) land on the Willamette River. The project on the west riverbank is adjacent to the 5th Street Market District and a few minutes’ walk north of downtown.

This 16-acre former industrial site will be transformed into a neighborhood with residential and commercial uses, including housing in various prices ranges. At the same time, locals and visitors will have easy access to a riverside public park. Dame and Atkins are committed to realizing the dream of a lively dynamic neighborhood that reconnects downtown to the river.

Three speakers will describe this ongoing project.


Dike Dame is co-owner of Atkins Dame Inc. As a graduate of the University of Idaho and an Oregon resident since 1960, Dike has been active in the real estate development field for nearly 50 years, working primarily in the Pacific Northwest and to a lesser extent in Los Angeles and San Jose. Having touched virtually all aspects of the real estate development business and survived the highs and lows of many business cycles, he has a feel for how to get things done and get to the finish line. To be involved in developing vibrant, livable neighborhoods is a passion for Dike.

Jim Atkins is co-owner of Atkins Dame Inc. He has a formidable track record of developing and delivering vibrant neighborhoods and communities, at the same time creating industry-leading value for his partners and investors. His proven leadership skills and technical expertise have helped create over 10,000 new housing units of all types. This portfolio of successful investments –including high-rise construction and public/private financing – extends from Portland’s South Waterfront to the South Park neighborhood in Los Angeles to South Lake Union in Seattle. Jim is a Registered Civil Engineer in Virginia and Washington. He also proudly served three years as an active-duty, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Officer, including service in the First Gulf War as a Combat Construction Platoon Leader. 

Will Dowdy’s work in the City of Eugene’s Community Development Division centers on community economic prosperity, including private development, employment, and public projects.  Currently, his projects include the revitalization of Eugene’s Town Square and redevelopment of the Eugene Downtown Riverfront district.  Prior to moving to Eugene, he worked on projects around the country as an architectural designer and urbanist.  His work involves an emphasis on community, financial viability, and long-term sustainability.

Copyright 2021, KLCC


Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.