'Urban village' envisioned for vacant county land downtown

'Urban village' envisioned for vacant county land downtown

EUGENE, Ore. - The businessman and former mayor behind the 5th Street Public Market and the Inn at the Fifth teamed up with a public housing agency to propose a mixed-use "urban village" for 2 acres of county land downtown.

Brian Obie from Obie companies made the proposal in collaboration with St. Vincent de Paul and the Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County. The consortium was the only group to respond to a request for proposals for the land, which includes the now vacant Lane County Annex building.

"We can talk about the Pearl (District) in Portland,  we can talk about the Pike (Place) Market in Seattle, but this will be the market district and it will be Eugene-style," Obie said.

The property is along 6th and Oak, adjacent to the Fifth Street Market.

The proposal calls for a movie theater, apartments, retail, grocery, hotel rooms and other amenities.

The Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to authorize county staff to negotiate a lease with Obie. Commissioner Pete Sorenson voted against the motion, saying he wanted to hold a public hearing on the matter first.

"I look at this as a first step towards redeveloping a big piece of Eugene," Commissioner Jay Bozievich said of the proposal.

This is a developing story. Watch KVAL News at 5 and 6 for more