Lane County wants more of Eugene's City Hall lot

Lane County would like the City of Eugene to modify a proposed land swap downtown to give the county more room to build a new building on the vacant block where City Hall stood. (SBG Photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - The City of Eugene is waiting to hear from the Lane County Board of Commissioners on changes the County wants to make on a proposed land swap between the two governments in downtown Eugene.

The old plan had the County giving the so-called "butterfly" parking lot near the downtown park blocks to the City in exchange for the City giving the county the east half of the empty City Hall lot.

That's where the county would build a new courthouse center.

But now commissioners say they need a bigger bite of that city lot.

"If we could talk to the city and see if there's a way to reconfigure the city's needs on that lot, then that could lower the cost of the structure," Commission Chairman Faye Stewart said.

Stewart said the county is asking for a joint elected officials meeting with the Eugene City Council to talk this over.

Stewart said there's still time to find a win-win solution.

"We really believe that there's an opportunity to work together with the city if the city can understand the constraints that we're in and potentially set the course for something that could be really impactful for the community and the downtown," he said.

Stewart added that he realizes the city is getting close to issuing a contract to build a new City Hall and thus a modified swap deal may not be possible.

City spokesperson Jan Bohman said City staff is completing construction documents now on the City Hall project. She said the City is awaiting a formal request to meet with the county.

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