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
The Urban Renewal Agency of the City of Eugene is seeking the right team of visionaries and community-minded people who have the capacity to bring the Steam Plant into the next phase of its life. 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 recently 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 team was one of four responses, all local, to the RFQ. Over the next few months, the team will begin a robust due diligence process to develop their full proposal for the Steam Plant's redevelopment. Through this process, they will evaluate the building's potential and its challenges. They will determine what work needs to be done to bring the building up to code and make it safe for the community to access. They will also start strategizing the fiscal aspects of the building, exploring financing sources for the initial redevelopment, as well as determining what types of uses are needed to make the building financially sustainable in the long run.
Per the Agency Board’s April 23 direction, the City will partner with the team to solicit feedback from the community on its proposal to ensure that it reflects the community’s vision for the building and serves as a special place the community is proud of. More information about community engagement opportunities will be available as the team moves forward with due diligence.
Following community outreach, the River Guides will evaluate the proposal using the Agency Board-approved criteria. They will make a recommendation to the Agency Director and Board.
Agency Board Action
We anticipate bringing the team’s full proposal for redevelopment of the Steam Plant to the Agency Board in December. At that time, we will ask the Agency Board to take action authorizing the Agency Director to negotiate deal points with the team.
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.
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