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Eugene developer planning five-story development at 16th and Pearl near downtown

A local investor bullish on the area just south of downtown Eugene wants to build a five-story building with apartments, luxury condos and space for the Eugene Ballet Company and local arts nonprofit groups.

Alex Haugland’s project, called “The Midtown,” would demolish a small apartment complex at East 16th Avenue and Pearl Street to construct the 65-foot-tall building in its place, according to Eugene architect Paul Dustrud, who is representing Haugland.

The project is about a year off. Haugland hopes to start construction in early summer 2018 and open the building about 14 months later, Dustrud said.

Construction of the building would continue a trend of completed or proposed redevelopments across the downtown area, a list that includes the Whole Foods Market on East Broadway, the Home2 Suites by Hilton at 11th Avenue and Olive Street and the former Oregon Antique Mall building on Willamette Street, halfway between 11th and 13th avenues.

“Midtown is an up-and-coming area,” Dustrud said, referring to the area between 13th and 18th avenues south of downtown. “I think it’s under-served a little bit.”

Haugland is the son of Rosaria Haugland and the late Richard Haugland, founders of the Eugene biotechnology firm Molecular Probes. Family members are major financial supporters of the performing arts, and Alex Haugland’s project seems to be a nod in that direction.

He plans to essentially co­develop the Midtown building with the Eugene Ballet Company, which would move its studios into the building, along with nonprofits Lane Arts Council, Eugene Opera, Eugene Concert Choir, Oregon Mozart Players and Chamber Music Amici. Dustrud also plans to move his architectural firm into the building.

Each of the arts nonprofits shares space with the Eugene Ballet Company in the company’s current 13,700-square-foot building, on 16th and Willamette, ballet company executive director Josh Neckels said.

Haugland’s building would give the Eugene Ballet Company 28,000 square feet of space for dance studios, with separate areas for the nonprofits.

“We’ve been working on the design space,” Neckels said. “Ultimately, it’s Alex’s project, but we’re going to purchase our portion of the building.” The company plans to sell its current building to help finance its share of the Midtown project.

The entire project could cost about $18 million to develop, Dustrud said. It will include 97,000 square feet of space, plus underground parking.

Some of the details haven’t been finalized. The plan includes 25 residential units, split between market-rate apartments for rent and higher-end condominiums for purchase, but the number of apartments and condos hasn’t been determined, Dustrud said.

Article Originally Posted On The Register-Guard

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