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, which closed June 11. The RFQ and submissions can be found below:
On June 27, the River Guides (advisory committee for the Riverfront Urban Renewal District) reviewed the RFQ submissions. The River Guides will make a recommendation to the Agency Director (City Manager) on next steps for the redevelopment process.
Later this summer, we anticipate that we will have one or more full proposals for the repurposing and reimagining of the Steam Plant. We look forward to bringing these proposals to the community for feedback through a robust public engagement process. More information on these public outreach opportunities will be posted as it becomes available.
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