For my last neighborhood post I wrote about some of the downfalls of neighborhood development. So, to balance out my perspective on downtown, I decided to investigate some of the positive advances in development.
I recently made a visit to the Fifth Street Public Market in downtown Eugene to talk to some of the business owners about their perspective on the area. On my visit to the market I learned that there is a new “boutique hotel” that is in the works. According to the business owners, the hotel, which is going in the space that the old Nike store used to be, will start being built in the next few months.
According to a Register Guard article I found from June, the hotel is to be named “Inn at the Market” and is going to cost about $10 million. The developer footing the bill is Brian Obie, who owns the entire Fifth Street Market. (Interesting fact: Brian Obie was major of Eugene from 1985 to 1989. Also, Brian Obie started Obie Media Corporation, which was purchased by Lamar advertising company for $43 million ). According to the article, the city of Eugene gave Obie a $500,000 business loan to help with the $10 million total cost.
The new hotel will supposedly be even fancier than the Eugene’s Hilton, which was the last hotel built downtown (26 years ago), and rooms will cost 10 percent more.
The business owners at the Fifth Street Market were excited about the new hotel. The patrons of this new hotel, who will pay more for their rooms compared to other hotel goers in town, obviously won’t be too money conscious. The businesses at the market will likely enjoy an increased customer base from the hotel patrons.
Building the hotel is hoped to help create some jobs during construction and after it is finished. It sounds like business owners and the Eugene bureaucrats are pretty excited about this. I wonder what the neighbors think?
The downtown Hilton is getting some competition. Picture from http://www.travelnow.com