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Eugene City Council approves purchase of former EWEB headquarters property

January 31, 2023 Aaron Orlowski, EWEB Communications

The Eugene City Council approved the purchase of EWEB's former riverfront headquarters property at a meeting on Jan. 30.

The terms of the deal state that the City of Eugene will purchase the 4.4-acre property, which includes two buildings and parking lots, for $12 million.

“Partnering with the City for the final piece of this riverfront property offers a unique opportunity to make possible a City Hall located on the banks of the Willamette River and adjacent to the burgeoning riverfront neighborhood,” said EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson. “Selling the former headquarters property to the City is the sensible choice because it maintains public access to the site while minimizing the need for costly renovations.”

As part of the sale, EWEB will be able to maintain about 1,000 square feet of shared public-facing space where customers can make an appointment to conduct EWEB business. Only a handful of employees currently work at the riverfront location.

In 2007, EWEB partnered with the city and other community stakeholders on the Riverfront Master Plan that was completed in 2010. The plan charted out improvements for an area that once held storage yards and other equipment facilities and is now home to the Downtown Riverfront Park and will feature many homes and businesses. In 2018, EWEB declared the former headquarters property surplus when the decision was made to consolidate EWEB staff at their Roosevelt Operation Center in West Eugene.

Then, last spring, EWEB developed and issued a rigorous request for proposals (RFP) process that drew significant public attention to the site. After the RFP process didn’t produce a buyer, EWEB’s five-member elected Board of Commissioners granted authority to the general manager to negotiate and execute the sale of the property. Earlier this month, EWEB announced it was focusing negotiations for the property sale on the City.

EWEB and the City will draft the purchase agreement in the coming weeks and plan to close on the sale on or before July 1, 2023.