Home Back Issues November 2010 Projects spark energy in Eugene

Projects spark energy in Eugene

| Print |  Email
Articles - November 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010

 

1110_ATS01
A rendering of the $11 million hotel project at the Fifth Street Public Market. It's one of several downtown projects under way in Eugene. // ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF THE ULUM GROUP

City efforts to reduce barriers to construction along with some substantial loans to downtown projects have helped boost Eugene’s economy.

“The prices are right,” says city manager Jon Ruiz. “Construction costs are down 20% or more compared to a few years ago.” The city is trying to also streamline the permitting process. “[Obtaining permits is] taking three hours rather than three or four weeks,” Ruiz says. The city will also do same-day inspections or Saturday inspections.

One major project under way is a 50,000-square-foot upscale hotel at the Fifth Street Public Market. The 69-room, $11 million project is being developed by market owner Brian Obie and has received $600,000 in loans from the city. Planning on the project began several years ago and was delayed because private investors and banks pulled back lending during the recession, but “there are signs of improvement in Eugene’s economy,” Obie says. Eugene’s August unemployment rate was 10.7%, down from 12.1% in 2009. The occupancy rate of the Fifth Street Public Market was around 93% through the recession, but when the hotel is completed next summer the vacant retail spots are expected to fill again.

“I think Eugene has a huge amount of potential,” says Brad Malsin, president of Portland-based Beam Development. His company purchased two buildings in downtown Eugene: the Center Court and Washburne buildings, which total 100,000 square feet. He also has bought an empty lot near the Center Court building where he plans to construct a new building that will be between 60,000 and 100,000 square feet. All three buildings will contain office and retail space and are expected to be completed within 15 months. The city helped Beam acquire one of the buildings with almost $10 million in loans. The city also helped fund Lane Community College’s downtown campus with $8 million in loans.

It’s all part of Eugene’s development strategy, which focuses on building “the social and physical infrastructure,” Ruiz says. The city is trying to anticipate economic changes and adjust to meet the needs of the community.

“We’re excited about what is going on,” he says.

CORY MIMMS
 

More Articles

How to help your staff solve their own problems

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 21, 2014
03.21.14 thumb coxcoffeeTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

During a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single one.


Read more...

Q & A with Chuck Eggert

News
Thursday, March 06, 2014
03.06.14 thumb pacfoodsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.


Read more...

On fire

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

A self-proclaimed “chile head,” John Ford “grows, eats and does everything spicy.” 


Read more...

Green your workplace

News
Thursday, April 03, 2014
100Green14logo200oxBY OB STAFF

Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.


Read more...

The solution to youth unemployment

News
Thursday, February 27, 2014
02.27.14 Thumbnail TeenworkBY ERIC FRUITS

Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.


Read more...

Tech makes the world go round

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, March 20, 2014
03.20.14 thumb internetBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

I don’t think anyone can (or should) remember what it was like to get things done without the internet. This milestone in technology has certainly benefited brick-and-mortar companies and subsequently launched a new era of businesses.


Read more...

Buy the book

News
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
2 03.25.14 thumb bookshopBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS