Status report from Jon Lauch
The former South Hills Assemblies of God church property was purchased by Amazon Corner LLC, a new company formed specific to this property and its re-development. Amazon Corner LLC is owned by the Coughlin family. Mike Coughlin is a local businessman who has been involved in a number of businesses in the area over the past 35+ years and is the owner of Burley Designs, a manufacturer of bike trailers, jogger/strollers, and other similarly related products. My name is Jon Lauch and, working for Amazon Corner, I am charged with managing this project.
We began looking at the property early in the calendar year, and became serious about acquiring the property last spring. The property was purchased only four weeks ago, so we are in the very early stages of developing concepts for redevelopment. There are currently no firm drawings or images to share.
The current structures are deemed to have no value in any redevelopment scheme and, therefore, are scheduled for demolition. Due to the age of the building, a significant of asbestos containing building materials are present. The building has been surveyed/inspected by accredited professionals and the removal work was competitively bid. The asbestos contractor is mobilizing in this week and will begin the actual removal later this week or early next, under regulated procedures, containment, and disposal requirements. The abatement activity will be complete by the end of September. Depending upon the progression of the asbestos abatement, the building demolition will commence in early October. However, there is some overlap between the demolition and abatement due to the need to excavate and remove an underground asbestos containing waste water pipe which will begin in late September. The building demolition is scheduled to be complete in October. A portion of the concrete slab will remain for construction staging. Much of the shrubbery around the building will be removed as well as the dead and dying trees. We are attempting to leave some shrubbery and healthy trees for the time being so that the property will look as attractive as possible for the neighborhood as a vacant lot can look.
With regard to future plans, you may have seen the article in the RG about the redevelopment. We are very excited about this project and what can be created that will provide additional living and retail opportunities for this corner of Southeast Eugene where options seem somewhat limited. Our vision is to construct a mixed-use retail and residential facility – ground-level retail with residential living on the upper floors. The height of the building will be driven by what can be reasonably supported by on-site parking for both residential and retail needs. The building is contemplated as roughly an L-shaped configuration along Hilyard Street and 32nd Avenue, though the building will have offsets and such to maximize available views and to enhance the feel and attractiveness of the project. The remaining interior of the site will be developed with landscape and surface parking. We are studying ways to create convenient pedestrian and bike access and outdoor areas for dining and socializing. Beyond our desire for a food & beverage anchor tenant, and perhaps a coffee shop/bakery establishment, we are interested gathering neighborhood input/opinions with regard to other desirable, or undesirable, retail venues.
We are engaging the services of Rowell Brokaw Architecture for the design of the facility. I have worked with them in the past and have found them to be competent and creative, and they are just plain fun to be around. They share our goal of creating a quality facility that will add to the attractiveness of the neighborhood, and expand upon the vibrancy that is already taking place in the nearby area.
I am happy to attend upcoming neighborhood meetings as appropriate to address questions or concerns folks may have. As indicated above, we are very early in our process so not all questions will have answers at this stage.
Editors Note: We have scheduled a neighborhood meeting to talk about this project on Tuesday, October 11 from 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the sanctuary at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 3925 Hilyard Street. More…