EWEB riverfront poised for redevelopment

For more than a decade, EWEB and the community have envisioned creating a vibrant, mixed-use “people place” on the utility’s downtown riverfront property. This vision would fulfill Eugene’s long-standing goal of connecting the city’s downtown core with the Willamette River. The next steps toward meeting this shared community goal are now underway.

Since the early 1900s, the riverfront property surrounding EWEB’s existing headquarters building was used for industrial purposes and – eventually – as the utility’s operations yard. However, the operations yard has been largely vacant since 2010, when EWEB opened its Roosevelt Operations Center and moved half the work force from the riverfront. The move set the stage to begin the planning work necessary to make this prime property available for a better community use.

The design and land use plan for the EWEB riverfront site was a final step in construction in a decades-long aspiration to reconnect Eugene’s downtown with the Willamette River. The adopted Riverfront Master Plan presents a community-supported vision for the future of the property, and models mixed-use redevelopment that is responsive to the unique characteristics of a site where river and city meet. This plan received overwhelming support from the many community members who commented on the plan or participated in its creation.

So what happens now?

Recently, EWEB took the next big step needed to bring the vacant portions of the riverfront property back to life. The utility has solicited statements of qualifications for a "master developer" to purchase or lease the 17 acres of surplus property now available for redevelopment. In addition, EWEB is flexible and making other portions of the 27-acre property available, including the Headquarters Building, under certain conditions.

EWEB is seeking interest from development teams with the requisite experience and financial capacity to convert the property into a vibrant, economically viable, well designed, urban mixed use neighborhood. We are looking to identify and select an experienced, financially capable team that can execute a project of this magnitude that also delivers on the vision and values expressed in the Master Plan. The ideal applicant will have a proven track record, creative vision, technical skill and the savvy to bring about a cohesive, high-quality redevelopment plan for the entire site.

Four responses to the solicitation were submitted to EWEB at the end of May. The utility will conduct a thorough evaluation process that will include an opportunity for the top teams to make presentations to the EWEB Board of Commissioners and interested members of the public on July 30. With Board approval, the selected team will be invites to begin negotiations with EWEB on the terms of a property-disposition agreement.

Summaries of the responses are now available.

GREEN, MIXED, VIBRANT + ACTIVE

A new vision for the downtown riverfront

Learn about the planning process and extensive community involvement that informed the creation of the EWEB Riverfront Master Plan, a framework that will guide future redevelopment of the property.

Want to comment?

Send an email to the Riverfront Master Plan Project Team with your questions and comments.