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City of Eugene finalizes purchase of EWEB building for new City Hall

 The former Eugene Water & Electric Board building.
Chris Lehman
The building, at 500 East 4th Avenue, is across a bike and pedestrian bridge from Alton Baker Park.

For the first time in more than a decade, Eugene has a city hall. On Tuesday, city officials signed off on the agreement to purchase EWEB’s former riverfront headquarters at 500 East Fourth Avenue.

Mayor Lucy Vinis says she is “thrilled” about the purchase.

“We have been looking for a permanent home for more than a decade and we have landed in a place that is iconic and beautiful and will provide us with the space that we need to both do city business and to gather as a community,” she said.

The Eugene city council approved the purchase in January on a 7-1 vote, despite some concerns about how far the new location is from the downtown business core.

Vinis said that the city’s efforts to redevelop the riverfront made the EWEB site more suitable than it would have been even ten years ago.

“Now it’s really part of a larger plan to create a larger downtown core that embraces the riverfront as well as the historic downtown core,” she said.

The city paid $12 million for the 4.4 acre EWEB campus, which has two buildings and a parking lot. EWEB will maintain a small customer service center on the site.

Eugene’s former city hall was declared obsolete and closed in 2012. The building was small, designed to be heated by steam, and not built to withstand an earthquake. Nothing came of plans to build a new city hall on the site.

City employees will move into the new building over the next few months. City hall offices are expected to open to the public in early 2024.

Chrissy Ewald is a freelance reporter for KLCC. She first reported for KLCC as the 2023 Snowden Intern.
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