EUGENE, Ore. — A downtown land owner was hoping to redevelop a chunk of land at Broadway and High Street. Already, rumors have been swirling that whole foods could again be trying to open a store in Eugene.
Talk among developers is that high-end grocer whole foods may want to try to move into the downtown Eugene area, but city leaders say they don’t know what retailer would be moving into the re-developed space.
The land near the Ferry Street Bridge is currently home to a parking lot, restaurant and an old credit union. But the owners of the lot are hoping that’ll soon change.
“The property owner of this block has submitted an application to the city to vacate east 8th Alley and Mill Alley,” said Becky.
The city giving up these alleys would pave the way for a major development in downtown.
“The alley vacation that the city council is being asked to approve essentially takes a very pivotal piece of property in town and will essentially position it to allow for one big development,” said Dave Hauser, Eugene Chamber of Commerce President.
The Eugene Chamber of Commerce says the opportunity to develop a piece of land that big is rare in the city, which is why the chamber is behind the project.
“We hope that the council will approve this alley vacation, which is a rather routine action and help us keep the momentum going that we have in terms of downtown revitalization,” Hauser said.
But it remains a mystery what retailer has its eye on the space.
“There’s also speculation about what will be built and we don’t know what will be built, the information that we have is that the property owner doesn’t have a lease signed with any particular tenant,” Becky said.
Whether the rumors are true, or not, local business leaders say with all the new apartment buildings going up around downtown, the people living downtown could use the extra places to shop.
“There are lots of retail uses we need downtown, some additional retail would be welcome throughout downtown,” said
A spokesperson for Whole Foods says the company has had its eyes on Eugene for years, but haven’t signed any leases for a specific site. There are no concrete plans for building one of their grocery stores in Eugene.