EUGENE, Ore. -- The owner of the 5th Street Public Market announced plans to build a three-story, 54-room boutique inn at the retail and dining complex in Eugene, Ore.
Brian Obie, owner of the market and a former mayor of Eugene, announced Friday plans to convert portions of the market and expand the building footprint to create the Inn at the Market. The hotel would replace the space occupied by the Nike store, which is moving north to another location.
Obie appeared with Kitty Piercy, the current mayor of Eugene, during an 11 p.m. press conference (at left).
He dismissed concerns about the economy, declaring his interest and certainty in Eugene's future economic health.
"We absolutely think there is opportunity for a very special place that provides more that other hoteliers might," he said.
The Inn as envisioned would provide a higher end lodging experience, with rooms with balconies, fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs, near the convention center and downtown.
Expected to open in 2010, the Inn will takeover space being vacated by the Nike store and other space in the building.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
The city issued a press release later in the day describing how the city would support the project. Earlier in the day, the city issued a press release announcing the successful transfer of a development lot across from the library.
City Ready for Inn at the Market Proposal
Mayor Kitty Piercy participated in the news conference this morning announcing the pending development of a high quality boutique hotel at the Fifth Street Market. During the announcement, owner Brian Obie cited the pre-development support he has received from the City of Eugene’s Planning and Development Department for the project.
“We are ready for a proposal like this in our downtown,” said Susan Muir, executive director of the Planning and Development Department. “This project is in line with what we want to see downtown - more people and 24-hour vibrancy. It reinforces our downtown as the center of our community.”
The City has taken a number of steps over the last few years to be ready for projects such as this one and help them move forward successfully:
As an incentive for downtown development, the City waives land use application fees for all applications in the downtown.
The City of Eugene provides fast track building plan review for projects in downtown. This will get plans though the process 25-50% faster than average review time.
Building inspections for downtown projects are guaranteed same-day service.
For this specific project, the Planning and Development Department has designated a staff team in advance to help the owners navigate the land use and building processes. The team has met with project representatives a number of times already, and will guide the developer through the conditional use permit process which will resolve any land use issues, including any issues raised from the neighborhood.