Development a Hot Issue for Sheldon

Residents in Cal Young describe how their neighborhood is going through a welcomed change.

by Evan Sernoffsky

Eugene, Ore—The fallout from the Great Recession has caused businesses across the nation to close down shop, yet somehow, one Eugene neighborhood defies expectation.

Residents in Cal Young think development is the largest issue facing their district. A new bar, an unfinished housing development, and an expansion of a pristine natural area are all going through a change this year, and residents are eager to weigh in on their neighborhood’s progression.

In 2010, new businesses have been sprouting up around Coburg Road and the Oakway Center. The Side Bar, a twenty-one-and-over watering hole on Coburg Road, has had great business since first opening its doors on June 7th. “I’ve worked in bars where it’s been slow from the get go, but this place picked up rather quickly…We lucked out,” said bartender Erin Freeman.

The Side Bar opened to great business on Coburg Road in Eugene

The Side Bar is filling a much needed void for local residents who don’t have a place in their neighborhood to get a drink. “They’re very happy from Crescent Village to Oakway Center down there,” Erin said.

Crescent Village, located between Gamefarm Road and Coburg Road,was originally going to be one of the area’s largest housing and business developments. But when Arlie and Co, the development firm contracted for the Crescent Village project filed for chapter 11 in the wake of the housing crisis, residents in the area grew weary of the future for the unfinished acreage.

Justin Vaccaro walks his dogs at one of Crescent Village's empty lots.

Justin Vaccaro, a financial adviser who set up shop in Crescent Village, thinks that when the housing market recovers his place of business will become prime real estate.

Row houses line the street at Crescent Village

“Just by walking around you can see how much empty commercial space there is. That’s kind of indicative of the market right now. There’s just not a lot of capital access, you can’t get loans for commercial development, so people aren’t starting up business or expanding businesses.” Justin said.

Commercial and residential development are not the only areas of Cal Young getting a face-lift. The Delta Ponds off of Goodpasture Island Road by the Valley River Center are also getting overhauled.

The City of Eugene’s website says that “the City received a $1.642 million grant from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that was made possible by ARRA funding. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received $2.337 million in ARRA funding for the project. These two sources of funding will allow the completion of habitat restoration and hydrological components of this large, multi-year project.”

TJ Barett and Amy Perkins enjoy the summer at the Delta Ponds.

In the summer, people take advantage of the bike path that cuts through the nature preserve. TJ Barret and Amy Perkins frequent the area because of its natural beauty. “It’s kinda cool that the city is right here and that they like to keep it green…I like to go fishing back here sometimes,” TJ said.

“I run these paths a lot, so it’s pretty scenery and stuff like that for sure,” Amy Perkins said.

About evan1983

Evan Sernoffsky is a freelance journalist in Sacramento, California.
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