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Connor and Woolley Downtown Mega-Project Withdrawn

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:28 pm
by Kevin
Connor and Woolley mega-project withdrawn, as described in their press release this morning:


April 27, 2006
For immediate release
Contact: Pat Walsh, 434-7021

Broadway District Project Terminated

After about 14 months of negotiations, the developers behind the proposed Broadway District project in downtown Eugene are calling a halt to further discussions with property owners regarding purchase of the parcels needed for the project to proceed.

While this means that the Broadway District project will not move forward as envisioned, property owners Tom Connor and Don Woolley said they will evaluate their options for their properties on West Broadway between Willamette and Charnelton streets.

“We are disappointed, because we thought this represented the best opportunity for downtown redevelopment that we have seen in 20 years,” Woolley said.

Connor and Woolley, who teamed up with national real estate firm Opus Northwest on the redevelopment project, said that even after months of negotiations, they had only one confirmed sale agreement.

Counteroffers from the remaining property owners ranged up to eight times the assessed value, at a cost that exceeded property values in Portland. Several property owners hadn’t counter offered and indicated an unwillingness to sell at any price. The combination of these factors made the project infeasible.

All the properties in the proposed district were needed to have the minimum footprint required to attract the national retailers that would make the project viable. Connor and Woolley owned about half the properties needed. The other 15 parcels are owned by 11 different individuals or entities.

“It became clear to us that the hurdles on this project were insurmountable,” Woolley said, adding that he and his partners appreciated the time that all the affected owners had dedicated to the process.

In particular he cited Mayor Kitty Piercy and city staff for their work and commitment, and he encouraged the city to redouble its efforts to make downtown a safer, more attractive place to do business.

He also commended his fellow downtown business and property owners and others in the community who rallied around the project. “It was clear to us, based on the feedback we were getting, that there was tremendous community interest in and support for a project like this, and we are sorry that it won’t come to fruition.”

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