Development forges ahead in the Northeast corner of Eugene despite a slow recovery from the nationwide recession.
By Jason A Williams
When the Ducks are away you must watch them play, but where you say? If you live in the Cal Young Neighborhood your options were slim to none, that is until last month when the Sidebar on Coburg Road turned on its 12 big screen TV’s.
The Side Bar is just one of many new business to open up shop along one of the busiest and most populated neighborhoods in Eugene, Cal Young. The Coburg corridor has seen phenomenal growth despite the past two years being the worst economic period since the Great Depression.
And business is good. “This placed picked up rather quickly, we have a steady lunch hour and happy hour…We lucked out,” said daytime bartender Erin Freeman who added that there has been only positive reactions to being the first bar to open along the busy corridor since G. Willickers closed its doors almost a decade ago. “Our owners and manager knew exactly what they were doing when they put this (place) together.”
The Side Bar has lots of new neighbors that have opened along Coburg Road with it in its Uptown Plaza location. Including a brand new Burger King, Eyemart, Nail Salon, the Poker Lounge, and Bailey’s Cafe all in the same development as the sports bar. Directly Across the street, a new Walgreens Store opened in the past year and a second brand new development closer to Oakway Center and further South on Coburg Road, the Coburg Station has had no problem filling its storefronts with multiple restaurants, a coffee-shop, a pet salon, a mattress shop and a liquor store.
But Coburg road is not the only part of the Cal Young Neighborhood that is adding to its arsenal of shops. Another brand new development just got underway across from Valley River Center on Valley River Drive, it will include the existing Starbucks and Mucho Gusto, and add a brand new Dickie Joe’s Burgers and Fries. It will also include a number of tenants that have not yet been named that will fill the developments five new buildings.
Not all business throughout the Coburg corridor are recovering as well though. The Arlie & Company development Crescent Village has yet to see any new construction since completion of the Town Center part of their upscale urban village. The firm filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in January of 2010, and yet they haven’t given up on the development nor given an inclination to the community that they are abandoning the large project.
“I think once the market recovers, this area is going to become sort of the hot development zone for the City of Eugene, partially because of the amount of jobs and the high-income jobs that are generated by (Sacred Heart Medical Center at) RiverBend ,” said Financial Adviser and Crescent Village Office Tenant Justin Vacarro.
Cal Young though is not just experiencing growth in its major shopping areas, it is also receiving plenty of federal stimulus funds to improve its busiest roads and build a new pedestrian bridge across Delta Highway. The bridge will connect the central part of the Cal Young Neighborhood to the Delta Ponds Natural Habitat.
“It’s kinda cool, that the city is right here and that they like to keep it green,” said TJ Barrett while strolling down the bike paths that meander through Delta Ponds, he also thought that connecting the neighborhood to the ponds with the bridge was a cool idea. “I like to go fishing down here sometimes, I catch a lot-ta Bass.”
From beer to Bass the Cal Young Neighborhood is developing into a vibrant part of the city, forging ahead despite the recession and giving a reason for people to spend some time enjoying what their community has to offer.