The oldest standing structure on the Downtown Riverfront property, the Steam Plant has the potential to connect Eugene' 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.
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.
On March 14, 2018, City Council, acting as the Urban Renewal Agency Board (Agency Board) directed staff to draft a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for the disposition and redevelopment of the Steam Plant. The Agency Board is scheduled to discuss the RFP process at their April 23 Work Session. More information about the proposed RFP process will be available on Friday, April 20.
The River Guides (the Riverfront Urban Renewal Advisory Committee) will discuss the draft disposition process and criteria on April 17.