Friends of the riverfront,
UO President Richard Lariviere issued a press release
last week stating that the University is willing to consider an alternate location for the Oregon Research Institute building, south of the railroad tracks and away from the Willamette River.
This is great news for our riverfront–but we can’t celebrate yet. President Lariviere said that they will continue planning for the ORI building and parking lot next to the Willamette River while they conduct a feasibility study for the alternative site. Until the university formally withdraws its application, we can’t be sure that the riverfront is safe from development.
A good place for ORI: a large undeveloped parcel between two existing Research Park buildings on Millrace Drive
We need your help right away to make sure the university changes course. Please write President Lariviere, Oregon Research Institute, and the Trammell Crow Company (the developers) to tell them that the community supports this alternate location. This is a time when letters really can make a difference!
Below is a sample letter. You can sign it and send it as is–or make it more effective by personalizing it and indicating if you are or have been associated with the University or ORI in any way. Please send the letter to all of the decision makers including UO President Richard Lariviere, ORI Executive Director Cynthia Guinn, and Steven Wells from Trammell Crow:
Thanks for your support,
P.S. Until the University withdraws its application to build next to the river, Connecting Eugene
will continue to pursue an appeal contesting construction. For more information see the recent articles
in the Eugene Weekly and the Register-Guard.
Dear President Lariviere, Mr. Steven Wells, and Ms. Cynthia Guinn,
I commend you for selecting the site at 1700 Millrace Drive as the potential new location for Oregon Research Institute.
Selecting this site demonstrates that the University, ORI, and Trammell Crow are responsive to overwhelming public desire that a new vision guide the future of University-owned land next to Willamette River.
By selecting this location, construction can proceed without the legal challenges associated with the originally-proposed site, the University can save money on infrastructure costs, and employees can look forward to working in a beautiful new facility near the Willamette River, the EmX, and colleagues at the UO.
At their meeting on May 9, members of the Eugene City Council offered congratulations that this site had been chosen for the proposed building. Working with City staff, we encourage you to draw upon the talents of your respective institutions to find creative solutions to any challenges that may arise as you move the project to this new site.
Since the founding of Eugene, the Willamette River has been vital to our city and our region’s economy and culture. Because of your leadership, citizens will have the opportunity to create a new vision for this special stretch of riverfront. Together we can safeguard the land’s ecological integrity and potential, provide a major civic connection between the University and downtown Eugene, and jump-start new economic development in our community.
Future generations will look back to this decision as a defining moment in our local history and applaud your leadership and foresight.