EWEB seeks new buyer for riverfront building

EWEB will need to look for a new buyer of its riverfront building after Eugene decided to keep City Hall downtown. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. –Eugene City Councilors voted down the idea of moving City Hall into the EWEB headquarters Wednesday. That means the fate of the building is now up in the air.

EWEB says it still plans to move out of its headquarters and consolidate employees at its west Eugene location.

The Eugene Water and Electric Board headquarters consists of two buildings linked by a sky bridge, three stories high, with a riverfront view.

“Altogether you’re looking at a little over 100,000 square feet,” said Joe Harwood from EWEB.

He said there’s also room to expand in a 17-acre empty lot next door.

The building is 28 years old.

Since 2010, they have spent about $1 million on mechanical renovations, like a new HVAC and chiller system.

But the city said the building still needed work - $48 million in remodeling, seismic and energy improvements, and other upgrades.

The price tag to purchase the building is still unknown.

“We have not had a recent appraisal on the building. So that would be open for negotiation,” said Jeanne Parisi from EWEB community relations.

Harwood said if the city had decided to move in, they would have expedited their move out.

The riverfront property has been EWEB-owned for nearly a century. It’s a space that’s open to the public.

“It's got this gorgeous atrium. It's a very inviting space. It's a public asset and we'd like to keep it that way if possible,” Harwood said.

EWEB board members will discuss the fate of the building in January. They’ll also strategize ways on how they can maintain a presence downtown.

Right now, they are not in discussion with any other potential buyers.

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