Filled with coffee shops, small businesses, places to eat, and construction galore, Jefferside Westside Neighbors residents and employees have plenty to disparage, and to appreciate.
JWN is located between 18th and 7th Avenues, and Lawrence/Willamette and Chambers Streets. It includes places like The Graphics Shop, on the corner of 11th Ave. and Chambers St.
Owner of this bright yellow store, Hien Williams, doesn’t have much to complain about when it comes to the area.
“It’s peaceful, we really don’t have any problems or crimes,” said Williams. “We have a good location.”
Oh, and he loves that Dutch Bros. is across the street.
Williams has been at this location for four years, and likes that people know he’s there now; however, the location isn’t perfect. He would like to be closer to campus to attract more University of Oregon students.
A common complaint among business owners in the JWN is the amount of vagrants roaming the streets.
“We get dumpster crashers that throw their trash in your garbage so they don’t have to pay for it,” said Karen Davis, employee at Ceramic Tile Supply Northwest located on 1590 W. 7th Ave. “We also get the occasional hooker walking by.”
Davis said she has felt uncomfortable at times working at this location.
“When I work late on a Saturday, sometimes we get homeless people coming in to use the bathroom, or just to chat,” said Davis. She also complained about parking at her location.
Traffic and parking were expressed as both pros and cons by many of the employees.
Heather Carrell, employee at Oregon Family Dental located on 1079 Chambers St., dislikes that the parking lot to her dental office is always so full in the evening, and it results in little room for customers to park. However, the location of the business has proven to be a positive as well.
“We get a lot of foot traffic through here, being next to places like Ring of Fire,” said Carrell. (Ring of Fire is a local restaurant next door.) This foot traffic results in more dental business.
Mac Chase, a graphic designer at Signs Now which is located next to Ceramic Tile Supply Northwest, doesn’t like all the traffic that comes with being on a busy street. He’d like to see an EMX be put in. There are things that he likes about his location, though.
“I live close to work and downtown, so it’s easy to get around,” said Chase. Also, he likes that “there are a lot of places to eat around here.”
A lot of employees praised the large amount of places to eat and get coffee in the area, and how convenient it is to have such an abundance of dining options.
Vandalism around the shops was a major complaint from many workers.
“There are a lot of transient people and vandalism around here,” said Carrell.
Construction has caused issues for some businesses in the JWN area, as well. Angela Langenberg, employee at Amazon Coffee on 18thand Willamette St., says that the construction has affected her shop, but not as badly as
“Some businesses were hit really hard when the lanes on 18th were closed off for like a day and a half,” said Langenberg. “When I have a late shift, the traffic can be really busy, and it’s a hard commute home to West Eugene.”
Langenberg expresses her love for the area, however, because of the surrounding schools (The U of O and South Eugene High School), and the support from other businesses.
“All the businesses are like a little family,” said Langenberg. “It’s a really nice place to work.”
In this economy, however, not everyone is working.
“I would like to see more businesses come back,” said Chase. “We have a lot of empty buildings around here. It’s like a revolving door.”