City of Eugene considering Town Square proposal

The city is hoping to make a new Town Square which will feature a new city hall, year-round covered farmers market and a redesigned Park Blocks

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 7:37 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The city of Eugene could be solidifying plans for a city hall after years of discussion and is looking at working on two other projects downtown, all part of a proposed new Town Square.

KEZI 9 News spoke with Will Dowdy, the urban development manager with the city of Eugene. He said the Town Square would consist of the new city hall, the city councilor chambers, city manager’s office and a covered farmers market located at the butterfly parking lot on the corner of 7th Avenue and Oak Street.

In addition to the new city hall and farmers market, they hope to redesign the nearby Park Blocks.

Dowdy said they hope to complete construction on the potential new city hall in 2022 and hope to finish the two other projects in 2021. The city said they'd like to begin construction on the market in 2020. 

KEZI reached out to Eugene City Councilor Betty Taylor. She said the potential plans are good for the city.

"Definitely the farmers market needs to stay where it is. It's very popular and very important to the city,” Taylor said. “City hall does need to be near the county wherever it is, wherever the county is."

Dowdy said no designs on the project can be made until the land exchange goes through between the city and county. Last year, the city agreed to buy the lot at Oak Street from the county and the county agreed to purchase the site at 7th Avenue and Pearl Street.

City officials are optimistic they will get the green light by the court by the end of the year.

Eugene resident Nicole Sims has mixed feelings on the proposal.

"I think expansion is great. Redesigning this area ... I'm kind of on the fence, as long as they don't take out some of the big land markers like the beautiful trees and the water fountain,” Sims said. “City hall is a luxury type of item and could probably wait."

Dowdy said this will be an ongoing process and once they get approval from the courts, they will be looking for community input on the proposal.

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