EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- The City of Eugene has accepted an offer to sell a plot of land next to the Federal courthouse. The buyer, Northwest Community Credit Union (NWCU), should be building on the site sometime in the spring.
The nearly two-acre site on 8th and Ferry Streets is currently a community garden. It's part of a three-year agreement with the University of Oregon, but that expires in February and now NWCCU will be moving in.
The credit union is headquartered in Springfield, but wants to move to Eugene. On Wednesday, with a 6-to-2 vote the city agreed to sell the land for more than $1.2 million. The councilors against the project, Betty Taylor and George Brown, say they wanted more time to look things over.
The organization plans on a three- to four- story building with about 60,000 square feet of space. NWCU CEO John Iglesias says the land will allow them to better serve their customers and invest in their future. He says, “As a non-for-profit cooperative, we work really hard to return our members' money in the best investments possible. We consider this an investment in the future and in the community. We see Eugene, the downtown Eugene area, as a regional hub for this community."
Those against the idea say the community garden's been providing 6,000 pounds of fresh produce a year to local non-profit agencies to help feed the homeless. The city says it's working with the University of Oregon to find a new plot for the garden.
There's also an historic building on site that the city will need to move. That will cost about $300,000. NWCU will start construction in the spring of 2013. The land sale is not totally finalized yet; the City Manager's office still has to get through all the paperwork but it has been approved.