Eugene officials have given employees the inexperienced mild to proceed with a purchase order and sale settlement with the University of Oregon that will permit for the expansion of the Autzen Stadium Complex.
Councilors voted 7-1 Monday evening to authorize City Manager Sarah Medary to enter an settlement with UO that’s according to terms together with a land swap, the college paying for brand spanking new parking areas and enhancements to present parking and the bridge throughout the canal.
UO introduced plans in October 2021 to increase the Autzen Complex to accommodate a brand new, 170,000-square-foot indoor soccer follow facility and two outside follow fields that would come with the reconfiguration of Leo Harris Parkway and the realm adjoining to the Autzen Complex.
To construct the 2 outside fields, the college desires land from Eugene’s Alton Baker Park and right-of-way within the space as half of a land swap for acreage UO owns on the south facet of the river subsequent to Downtown Riverfront Park.
Staff first introduced the proposal to the council final summer season and stated the deal factors mirror mitigation and issues officials raised in the course of the preliminary dialogue.
Most of the mitigation facilities round parkland and the loss of dozens of parking spots that serve Alton Baker Park, the Cuthbert Amphitheater and the Eugene Science Center, stated Denny Braud, the town’s planning and improvement director.
The present terms may imply the addition of greater than 300 parking areas, he stated, and produce different advantages, equivalent to river entry for potential recreation on property adjoining to Downtown Riverfront Park.
“We’ve heard rather a lot from those who they need to have the ability to go to the river and get to the river and contact the river,” Braud stated. “On this downtown facet of the river, there simply aren’t that many entry factors.”
Officials have been supportive of shifting ahead however expressed issues about potential impacts on the Science Center.
The deal has advantages for lots of folks, Councilor Jennifer Yeh stated, however she does not assume that features the Science Center.
“I do not assume they’re successful right here,” Yeh stated. “I feel they’re barely being made complete, which is a giant concern.”
4 acres from Alton Baker Park space for 8 acres south of the river
Under terms introduced Monday, the town would give UO the parking space supporting Alton Baker Park and the Eugene Science Center and a few right-of-way, round 4 acres in complete, to permit the realignment of Leo Harris Parkway.
In alternate, the college will give Eugene eight acres alongside the south financial institution of the Willamette River, simply south of the newly opened Downtown Riverfront Park close to UO’s Knight Campus.
The properties have “fairly comparable worth,” Braud stated, and having extra property on the downtown facet of the Willamette “presents thrilling alternatives.”
The land swap means dropping round 230 parking areas, Braud stated, however the terms of the council permitted account for alternative parking.
UO could be liable for:
- Constructing new parking north and east of the Science Center
- Improving the gravel parking space east of the bridge over the canoe canal
- Providing a brand new, accessible parking space subsequent to Cuthbert Amphitheater
- Working with the Science Center to make sure the middle doesn’t lose recreation day parking income
The college additionally would pay to realign Leo Harris Parkway and enhance the bridge over the canoe canal, contribute $1 million to a yet-to-be-determined challenge inside the Alton Baker Park space, comply with the use of present UO parking for occasions and make the amenities obtainable for emergency use.
The metropolis will assessment designs for parking and different enhancements included within the swap. That does not embody the land the brand new indoor facility will go on, Braud clarified, for the reason that college already owns that property.
The metropolis and college will work collectively on a phasing plan that minimizes impacts on parking, car site visitors and pedestrian entry to Alton Baker Park, Cuthbert Amphitheater and the Science Center, Braud added. That will embody having alternative parking in place earlier than eradicating any areas for facility building, he stated.
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Closing on the land swap additionally will not occur till the college is able to construct and till the town can amend the Science Center’s lease to account for the modifications, he stated.
“They are anxious proper now as a result of we’ve got not achieved that modification but, and so I feel their largest issues proper now are actually round ensuring they’ve room to increase, room to program and that their parking wants are met,” Braud stated of the Science Center.
Councilors have issues however assume the town, college can work it out
Councilors expressed some issues and stated they perceive consternation in regards to the deal and its potential impacts on the Science Center.
But in addition they noticed potential advantages and stated they assume the town and college can work by issues.
Councilor Greg Evans stated he did not have many points with the terms and requested Braud if the town is getting a “value-for-value alternate” below the proposed terms.
Braud stated employees seemingly “would not be right here if we did not assume this was deal for the town” and labored with UO to “be certain that we will get all of the impacts mitigated but additionally get just a few different issues that profit the neighborhood.”
Terms introduced Monday embody “rather a lot of public advantages,” Councilor Alan Zelenka stated, particularly in comparison with the college’s preliminary proposal.
The metropolis will get twice as a lot parkland, he stated, and a “substantial enhance” in parking.
“Yes, there are nonetheless some issues, however I feel we must always go ahead with it,” Councilor Emily Semple stated. “I truly assume it is fairly thrilling.”
Although Yeh raised issues in regards to the Science Center, she stated earlier than a vote that whereas she was “slightly choosy on the main points and slightly grumpy,” she thinks the town and UO can get to a spot the place everybody wins.
Councilor Randy Groves agreed he is involved in regards to the Science Center but additionally assured issues will work out.
“We have a longstanding, good partnership with the University of Oregon. They are essential to our neighborhood,” Groves stated. “They are a giant piece of our id as a metropolis, and I consider that we’re getting good worth for our neighborhood and our residents from this proposed deal.”
Councilor Matt Keating voted towards the terms, saying he has some “heartburn” over the imprecise nature of the challenge getting the $1 million contribution and is “doubtful” in regards to the college’s acknowledged causes for needing the brand new amenities.
City employees will proceed negotiating with the college.
Council should vote to approve any last buy and sale settlement.
Contact metropolis authorities watchdog Megan Banta at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MeganBanta_1.