Apartments would add 1,200 residents to downtown Eugene

EUGENE, Ore. -- A developer from Birmingham, Ala., is proposing a large scale student housing project in the heart of downtown Eugene.

Capstone Collegial Properties is proposing a 300 apartment complex that would house 1,200 students. The proposed building would be on a currently vacant lot on 13th and Olive as well as the Peace Health clinic building across the street.

David Mandelblatt is the chairperson of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. He said the new project brings several questions to those residents already living in downtown.

"It's an enormous number of people to put into downtown because we've got a limited population to begin with. We're only 2,500 residents," said Mandelblatt.

Mandelblatt said there are also questions about transportation downtown. "What's the impact going to be on LTD? This is going to be 1,200 people going to the university campus. How are they going to get there? What's this going to do for automobile traffic?"

Mandelblatt said the neighborhood association isn't against development, but they just want to find out more information. They'll be meeting with developers on Thursday to find out more about the project.

Developers have applied for a tax exemption from the city, according to Denny Braud from the City of Eugene. Braud said this project would bring so much more to the area than just people.

"Having people living downtown also has its advantages because it has its 24 hour around the clock activity of people that creates safety downtown, there's eyes on the street," said Braud.

Development could begin as early as June. First, the developers need to get city council approval.