The City of Eugene says it will purchase 16 acres of riverfront property from Eugene Water & Electric Board. The hope is to connect downtown to the Willamette River.
Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz says the deal is a culmination of years of planning. “It’s an opportunity to fulfill a generational vision that we’ve had." Ruiz says, "So we’re excited to continue to move forward.”
EWEB worked with the public to create a master plan for the property which includes a public park and possibly housing, hotels, retail and restaurants. Ruiz hopes the project can help showcase the river when the World Track & Field Championships come to Eugene in 2021.
“We don’t have the expectation that the entire site will be redeveloped by that date, we would like to have a nice start on it." Ruiz says, "We would like to insure that there is very easy access to the river from downtown as well as from the University.”
The city will fund the purchase with $5.75 million in Riverfront Urban Renewal money. The deal does not include the EWEB headquarters building.