Downtown Riverfront

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5

Major transformation of Eugene’s Downtown Riverfront is underway, fulfilling the community’s long-held goal of turning a vacant, inaccessible riverfront lot into a vibrant, active, and accessible riverfront district and community destination. The redevelopment of the Downtown Riverfront has been a part of the community’s vision for decades, reinforced through numerous public engagement opportunities over several years. The City's Urban Renewal Agency now owns 16 acres of riverfront property that can become Eugene’s riverfront neighborhood – directly connecting our downtown and campus areas to the Willamette River and creating more access points for the community to enjoy. 

A number of initiatives are underway, bringing us closer to the transformation of the Downtown Riverfront property. Explore below to find out the latest about the Riverfront Park, the Steam Plant, the vertical redevelopment let by Atkins Dame, Inc., and how you can get involved.

  1. Latest News
  2. Atkins Dame, Inc.
  3. Steam Plant
  4. Riverfront Park
  5. Get Involved

Virtual Tours

See the latest virtual tour updates of the Downtown Riverfront site: 

June 8, 2021

April 30, 2021

February and March 2021

2021 Construction Update

  • Riverfront Park - Construction of the park started in May 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Park improvements will include river overlooks, walking paths, the new section of bike path, decks, seating areas, stormwater treatment, new native vegetation and much more. (Visit for more information.) 
  • Infrastructure -  Construction of phase 1 streets and utilities started in June 2020 and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021. Phase 1 includes all the streets and utilities serving the Riverfront Park. Phase 2 infrastructure, which will service the southern parcels on the property, began construction in the spring of 2021, with completion in the fall.

Vertical Development (Atkins Dame, Inc.) 

In 2020, Atkins Dame Inc. (formerly referred to as Williams/Dame and Associates) entered into a development agreement with the Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Eugene that will guide development of the new neighborhood. As part of the agreement, in April 2021, Atkins Dame provided a $4.5 million non-refundable deposit, which will be used to support phase 2 of the infrastructure. Vertical development of the neighborhood is expected to proceed in phases between 2022 and 2025. 

Future Riverfront Projects

At their October 28, 2019 work session, the Agency Board asked staff to come back with additional information on four specific projects and possible funding options.  Those projects are: (1) the Steam Plant redevelopment; (2) parking options to serve the Downtown Riverfront, including the Steam Plant and the Park; (3) additional funding for the Riverfront Plaza project to meet the community’s vision; and (4) an affordable housing project.  

The Agency Board had an initial discussion of these four projects and the Urban Renewal District's overall capacity at their March 8, 2021. (View the work session download the materials.) Follow-up work sessions for each project will be scheduled in fall of 2021.

Name Our Streets!

In 2019, the City asked the community to help us name the three new streets on the Downtown Riverfront site. After an engaging process that generated more than 1,100 ideas from community members, Mayor Vinis revealed the final street names: Annie Mims Lane, Nak-nak Avenue, and Wiley Griffon Way. Visit the Engage Eugene website to learn more about the selection process and the history behind the chosen names.

South Bank Path Closure 

Due to construction on the Downtown Riverfront, the portion of the South Bank Path between the EWEB headquarters and the Steam Plant will be closed through 2021. Crews removed the existing path in 2019 and will be constructing an improved bike path as part of the new Riverfront Park. Starting in May 2021, the South Bank path will also be closed from Hilyard to the Frohnmayer bridge to realign and rebuild 3,000 ft of the bike path. The South Bank Path Project and Downtown Riverfront Park will be completed by the end of 2021. 

  1. Background
  2. Related Plans and Policies

Since Eugene was founded in 1865, the Willamette River has been Photo by Steve Smith - Aerialimage of EWEB and Willamette Riveran essential piece of our community’s identity. It is where Eugene Skinner created the first plat for the city, and for decades the river has provided industry and recreation opportunities for our community. As one of our proudest assets, our community has a long held vision and desire to create more access and connections to the river – places where people can hang out, meet friends, and bring their family to enjoy the riverfront.

For years, Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) housed their operations on an approximately 16-acre property along the riverfront.  Understanding the potential of this site, in 2007 EWEB and the City of Eugene began the process of transforming this property to connect Eugene’s downtown to the Willamette River and create an active place for the entire community. 

The Riverfront Master Plan was approved by the EWEB board in 2010 based EWEB Riverfront Master Planon input from more than a thousand community members. The plan outlines the creation of a world-class public park along the waterfront and a high-quality multi-use riverfront development that will reflect the community’s vision, providing economic and housing opportunities, promoting compact urban development, and enhancing natural resources. In 2013, the City Council adopted the Master Plan along with land use policies to support its implementation.

EWEB decided to sell the property to the City in 2013 after refocusing on their core mission of providing utility services to the community. The City’s Urban Renewal Agency finalized the property purchase from EWEB for $5.75 million in April 2018. Funds for the purchase came from the Riverfront Urban Renewal District. This was a key milestone in the efforts to redevelop the site.

In June 2017 the Urban Renewal Agency signed an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Williams/Dame & Associates for the riverfront redevelopment property. The Agency currently has a Disposition and Development Agreement with Williams & Dame for the redevelopment of the site. See Williams & Dame section above for more information.  

On July 22, 2019 the City Council voted (7-0) to adopt the package of land use applications necessary to implement the concept plan for the Downtown Riverfront redevelopment. The package includes code amendments (CA 19-1), refinement plan amendments (RA 19-1), zone changes (Z 19-5), a Willamette River Greenway permit (WG 19-3), a tentative subdivision (ST 19-3), and a standards review (SDR 19-2). The entire land use package can be viewed and tracked using the planning land use application search page.

Contact Us

  1. Amanda D'Souza

    Business Development Analyst
    99 W 10th Ave
    Eugene, OR 97401
    Ph: 541-682-5540
    Fx: 541-682-5572