Land swap proposed to expand Eugene Farmers Market

EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene Saturday Market opened for its 45th season this April, but the concept of a local farmers market goes back even further.

"The first farmers market opened in Lane County in 1915," said Jack Gray, owner of Green Farm near Noti and Chairman of the Farmers Market Site Expansion Committee.

The market has grown into a local staple for the city and its residents.

"It's a great market now," said Gray, who chairs an effort to expand the market, "but there's no question it could be better."

Space is currently an issue.

"It's very cramped," Gray said.

More space is the goal of a proposed land swap between the City of Eugene and Lane County.

"We're very optimistic," Gray said. "I think it's a win-win for everybody. It's a great example of the city and county working together. It's all good."

The proposal is for the county to swap the two-level parking garage, also known as the butterfly lot, in exchange for the half block currently occupied by Eugene's closed city hall.

Neither the city nor county had immediate comment on the proposal.

"This is the first step and the first step is to secure the land," Gray said, "and after that it becomes a planning, design process."

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