CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO.

GLENWOOD – Development interest keeps building in Glenwood as a minor league baseball team flirts with the idea of a riverfront stadium, and the city’s economic development leaders approve a process for developing their own riverside property.

The Marvin family, who owns the 8.5-acre property next to the 9-acre City-owned property, this week initiated a partnership with Springfield Economic Development Agency as they navigate development visions of their own in Glenwood.

Eric Marvin said his family has owned the property immediately to the east of the SEDA-owned land for over 20 years. The Eugene Emeralds and the Marvins are in “substantive discussions” to construct a stadium on the property. The organization’s vision is that the property might function as both the Emeralds home field and an outdoor concert venue.

Marvin, who is also a member of M3 Commercial Real Estate, was part of the LOCALIS development pitch for the SEDA-owned property. Two development projects were pitched to SEDA, including a soccer stadium by LOCALIS and a 20-story hotel by Glenwood Development LLC. When asked if Marvin was no longer a part of LOCALIS, he said that “the idea of putting the stadium on our property divides us from the LOCALIS proposal.”

The need for the Emeralds’ move stems from success: they are advancing in their league and require a larger facility to accommodate longer seasons and higher capacities than its current rented location at PK Park in Eugene, Courtney Griesel said, who is the City’s economic development director. The Marvins will know by the end of the year if their property will be the Ems’ future home. The team’s timeline requires that stadium construction begin within 14 months.

SEDA this week also motioned to begin the Request For Qualifications process as soon as possible with determination by December 2021. It will tailor its RFQ process for developers to note a potential for a sports venue on the adjacent property. SEDA authorized staff negotiations with M3 for property related to access as a means to adjust traffic flow that is consistent with the Glenwood Refinement Plan.

Councilor Damien Pitts questioned whether bringing a sports team to town with “Eugene” in its title would be a point of contention for Springfield residents. “Springfield is serious about being very disconnected from Eugene. Would that cause any cultural friction?”

In other business, Springfield city officials urged “alignment” among SEDA members, after disagreements on process and vision have pumped the brakes on projects.

“I’m hearing competing narratives about the current status of the solicitation (for developers). I’m hearing differences in hopes for development outcomes and I’m hearing a lot of lack of trust in the process,” said facilitator Lorelei Juntunen, calling for “unified leadership.” 

In a 5-3 vote, the SEDA members passed a formal process that will allow the City to choose a developer for the Glenwood site by December. Members Steve Moe, Leonard Stoehr and Joe Berney voted in opposition, instead voting in favor of meeting with the one developer that is still interested in the property, Glenwood LLC, to learn more about their financial situation and proposal.