Eugene unveils final draft of town square project

After years of starts and stops, Eugene planners have unveiled their latest plan for a new city hall.

Posted: Sep 12, 2019 6:14 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 6:16 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- After years of starts and stops, Eugene planners have unveiled their latest plan for a new city hall and for updating the Park Blocks.

Three concepts were revealed in July, and now, the city says they have a final draft in place.

Talks of building a new city hall in Eugene go back to 1999. And in 2012, the city moved out of the old city hall, which was torn down three years later. Officials said a new building, which would have been built on the east side of the Lane County Courthourse, would be finished by 2015. Millions of dollars were spent designing and planning for the building, which only exists on paper. It was never constructed.

RELATED: EUGENE HOLDING TOWN SQUARE BLOCK PARTY TO REVEAL DESIGN CONCEPTS

According to the newly released plan, officials have decided that the new city hall should be placed on the other side of the courthouse.

Also part of the designs are changes to the downtown Park Blocks.

Officials told KEZI 9 News in order to slow down cars around the Park Blocks, they’re going to make the streets more narrow, take out some of the parking and widen the amount of park space so it’s easier to get from one block to the other.

They said they want the Eugene Town Square to be more connected to the rest of the city. They plan to raise the streets up so everything feels like it’s one level and take down many of the walls surrounding the area so it’s one cohesive space.

Officials said the Park Blocks currently have a lot of accessibility issues they want to address.

“There's a lot of steps without that many access ramps, so the big idea is to just make it universally accessible for everyone so that anyone with a stroller can access anywhere and anyone with a wheelchair can get around town square easily,” said Josh Berman, the Park Blocks analyst.

Berman told KEZI 9 News the main goal of this project is to create a main center for the city of Eugene.

KEZI 9 News asked Berman what will happen if the community does not agree with the final draft of the project, and he said as long as the majority is happy, that's all they could ask for.

If this plan gets the votes it needs to pass the Eugene City Council this October, they will plan to begin construction in fall 2020.

They were unable to say how much the project would cost or when exactly it would be completed.

To view the city's plan, click here.

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