Downtown Riverfront Steam Plant
The oldest standing structure on the Downtown Riverfront property, the Steam Plant has the potential to connect Eugene's future to its past. As part of the Downtown Riverfront redevelopment, the EWEB Riverfront Master Plan emphasizes the community's wish to reveal the “layers of history” embedded in the site to create this special, historically significant place. Its unique position as an icon of Eugene’s industrial past and location within 50 feet of the top of the riverbank calls for the plant to be preserved and repurposed as an important historical landmark at the east end of the Downtown Riverfront property.
Steam Plant Redevelopment
On March 14, 2018, City Council, acting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board, directed staff to draft a process for the disposition and redevelopment of the Steam Plant. On April 23, 2018, the Agency Board approved the use of an RFQ/RFP process for the redevelopment of the Steam Plant and criteria to guide the process. The approved process and criteria can be found below:
- Steam Plant Disposition Process Opens a New Window.
- Steam Plant Disposition Criteria Opens a New Window.
Request for Qualifications
As a first step in what will be a multi-stage process, the Agency issued a Request for Qualifications from visionary teams for the redevelopment of the Steam Plant. The Agency received four submissions to the RFQ. The RFQ and submissions can be found below:
In August, the City invited a team led by Mark Miksis (of deChase Miksis Development) and Mark Frohnmayer (of Arcimoto) to prepare a full proposal for the redevelopment of the Steam Plant. The development team is currently engaged in a robust due diligence process as they develop their full proposal for the Steam Plant’s redevelopment, evaluating the building’s potential and challenges to determine what work needs to be done to bring the building up to code, making it safe for the community to access. The team is also creating their financial strategy, exploring financing sources for the initial redevelopment, and determining what types of uses are needed to make the building financially sustainable long-term. The team unveiled their initial proposed concepts on January 23, 2019. More information can be found at www.steamplant.us.
The local team and the City launched a community outreach campaign on January 23, 2019 to solicit feedback on the proposed concepts to ensure that it reflects the community’s vision for the building and serves as a special place the community is proud of. An online survey was open from January 23 to February 19. Results from the community outreach will be available later this spring.
In April 2019, the River Guides evaluated the proposal using the Agency Board-approved criteria. They recommended moving into negotiations with the development team.
Agency Board Action
The Agency Board is scheduled to hear about the team's full proposal at their April 24 work session. At that time, staff will ask the Agency Board to take action authorizing the Agency Director to negotiate deal points with the team. The materials for this work session are available here: April 24 Agency Board materials.
Steam Plant's History
Constructed in 1931 this 28,000 square foot multi-story masonry and steel structure was built to house three steam boilers and turbines. The industrial deco-style building is historically significant for its original use in generating standby electrical power to the pumps bringing river water in to the city’s original water treatment plant, and beginning in 1962, to supply district heating to downtown businesses. Steam Plant operations ceased in 2012 and the building is currently vacant.
More information about the Steam Plant's history can be found in this 2012 report.
Resources and Additional Information
- State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) summary
- EWEB Riverfront Master Plan - complete document
- Downtown Riverfront Special Area Zone (Eugene Code)
- Steam Plant Drawings
- Summary of Steam Plant environmental abatement activities and documents available by request
- Williams & Dame's initial concepts for the Downtown Riverfront redevelopment