The developers seeking to put a strip mall and Fred Meyer store at Eugene’s Civic Stadium site say they will pay to move part of the historic WPA-era structure to another site in the city if that’s what it takes to win approval for the development.
Steve Master and Peter Powell offered a bid for the Civic Stadium site to the Eugene School District, which then ranked their bid as yielding the most money for the district. Since then, preservationists have petitioned the city to become involved more in the process, with the possibility the city could financially a support a bid from Save Civic Stadium group to keep the facility and convert it to a soccer field. Opposition from neighbors to the development plan also spurred city interest in the process as well.
To placate the preservationists, Master and Powell are offering to move most of the grandstand to another site, but that’s raising all sorts of other issues. The local school district doesn’t want it: they have no money now for maintaining the building, so there’s little chance new money can be found for future maintenance. Moving just part of the grandstand would surely diminish the historic significance of the structure as well, which is why the preservationists are holding off on making any commitments to a relocation plan.
The school district, which owns the ballpark site, has been debating the future of Civic Stadium for years now. The former home of the Eugene Emeralds (short season A; Northwest League) and Pacific Coast League baseball is now unoccupied with the move of the Ems to PK Park, and the school system, facing budgetary issues, put the ballpark site out to bid. There were three respondents: developers looking to build a new Fred Meyer store, the local Y, and Save Civic Stadium, which wants to see the ballpark converted for use as a soccer facility.
RELATED STORIES: Eugene residents: Save Civic Stadium; Another option emerges for Civic Stadium: strip mall!; Developers withdraw plan to renovate Civic Stadium; future of ballpark in doubt; Eugene School Board puts Civic Stadium on the market; Glickman to assist in Civic Stadium preservation effort ; Eugene debates future of historic Civic Stadium; Group proposing renovation of Civic Stadium
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