from Eugene Water and Electric Board
The Board of Commissioners for the Eugene Water & Electric Board voted unanimously Oct. 6 to authorize General Manager Frank Lawson to pursue and negotiate the sale of the former EWEB headquarters building.
The 4.44-acre site is the last component of EWEB’s riverfront property. In the last few years, EWEB has moved operations and nearly all staff to the Roosevelt Operations Center in West Eugene.
The authorization to negotiate a sale comes after the Board canceled the original Request for Proposals (RFP) process because each of the proposals submitted through the RFP contained either a limited or non-specific response to the criteria.
The Board designed the RFP to create a structured scoring and selection process. The RFP opened in May and closed in August. It required proposers to submit detailed plans so that an evaluation team could score them based on specific criteria, including details of the future intended use, economic benefit to the community, sale price, financing and proposers’ qualifications.
EWEB received four titled proposals. Obie Companies proposed EWEB Riverfront Redevelopment; Three Muses Group LLC sought Acquisition of Parcel #3; Eugene Science Center proposed Eugene Science Center on the Riverfront; and Olympus Academia LLC put forward its Ambassador Campus Proposal.
Though each proposal was compelling in its own way, the responses to the evaluation criteria made it challenging for the evaluation team to fairly award points to the proposals under the process outlined in the RFP.
The Eugene Science Center did not submit the required documents, according to the Aug. 12 report, “RFP 21-254 Acquisition of the EWEB Downtown Riverfront Property.”
The Board therefore decided to cancel the RFP and grant EWEB’s general manager the authority to pursue a sale of the property through direction negotiation.
“Each proposal we received offered something unique to the community, but it wouldn’t have been fair to score them using the method we had developed,” Lawson says. “While we’re disappointed that the original RFP process didn’t produce a buyer, we’re hopeful that the interest it generated will create a positive outcome.”
The Board has provided guidance to the general manager, instructing him to get the most value possible from the property for both EWEB and the community. The Board authorized him to negotiate the terms and conditions of the sale, as well as to execute the transaction itself. Any terms negotiated outside of the Board’s original guidance will be subject to Board approval.
Interested parties are encouraged to find more information at eweb.org/riverfront.