Developer pitches new hotel

Springfield Developer David Loveall isn’t finished with his plans for Springfield. Loveall, who owns and redesigned the 300 block downtown, pitched the Springfield Utility Board (SUB) about buying the 200 block from SUB, and building a hotel.
“We’re here because the timing is right for more economic viability,” Loveall said during the “business from the audience” section of the agenda during SUB’s regular board meeting on Aug. 14.
Jenna Fribley, architect and co-founder of Campfire Collaborative, said that the 200 block was the original location for the Springfield Hotel in the early 1900s. Now, there aren’t any hotels downtown; the closest ones are in Glenwood.
“If you’re coming to downtown as a destination there’s not a place to stay,” she explained, adding that the hotel would not be a replica of the past, but would celebrate the site of the original location.
Fribley also said that the close proximity to both the bus station and a bike shop would make the hotel a “prime destination.”
Beyond the hotel, there is an opportunity for more mixed-use development to occur on that block, which is what Loveall is known for creating on the 300 block of Main Street. His vision has been to make downtown livable, viable, safe and walkable. He highlighted the new Main Street Market.
Loveall added that SUB’s future plans for the property have been nebulous and it seems like the “next viable block to continue growth.”
His goal is to start and close the project by the end of the year. With the Olympic trials coming to Eugene in 2020, Loveall said that the Willamette Valley is facing the biggest events that it has ever had, and he wants Springfield to be a part of it.
“Trying to create and champion regional vitality and economic vitality is what our idea is all about,” he said. “If it’s held (up), we’re going to miss the golden opportunity of global attractability. Timing is everything.”
Loveall started revitalizing Downtown Springfield 13 years ago when he renovated the apartments above the Washburne Cafe. Since then, he’s added commercial tenants below who have signed 10-year leases; Cornbread Cafe expanded into the city and signed a 20-year lease.
Loveall added that other small cities, such as Cottage Grove and Creswell, want to follow suit with the mixed-use development downtown, but they don’t have the building structures in place that Springfield has.
The Springfield hotel project “ is a dream of ours,” Loveall said, referencing his partner. He added that they aren’t asking for public or federal funds, that they “have the means and partners to pull this off.”
At the end of the pitch, Board Member Mike Eyster commented that it’s customary for the board to not respond during public comments.
Loveall said that he had been talking with board members and gained some interest before pitching. He said he understood why SUB was holding onto the property for possible expansion, but that there might be a potential for “horse trading” – developing and selling a strip of the property back to SUB for them to ease their concerns about future building redevelopment.
Although Loveall understands the hoops he needs to jump through to get his vision into development, he said that getting “a call tomorrow would not be too soon.”



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos