A look at the area along Franklin Blvd. on Tuesday near where city leaders are considering development plans. ERIN TIERNEY/PHOTO

GLENWOOD – Springfield Economic Development Agency this week were given an overview of the first phase of policies that govern Glenwood-area development, particularly as it relates to the SEDA-owned riverfront site. 

Over the last two decades the transition of the unincorporated community of Glenwood must have often felt like no one cared. More a rejected piece of real estate trapped between Eugene and Springfield than a gold mine of opportunities for either or both of those ranking cities, Glenwood has long been the short-straw loser when it came to discussions about the future. 

Since the petitioners of Glenwood requested jurisdictional transfer from Eugene to Springfield in 1994 (and adopted by the Springfield City Council in 1999) there has been reason for optimism. Springfield voters affirmed their support in 2004 of establishing Glenwood as an Urban Renewal district.

The Monday, Oct. 11 SEDA meeting was primarily an update and reintroduction of Phase 1 of the Glenwood Refinement Plan (GRP).

Twenty-two years seems like a long time to wait for progress to happen, but the hurdles to clear on a project as complicated as this take an extensive amount of time. The committee is intent on considering every possible idea, question, and concern of the project. It becomes several projects that must be divided into workable parts without losing the connection to an overall comprehensive plan. It begins by creation of a Phase 1 and a Phase 2 plan.

The discussion on Monday addressed Phase 1, those areas directly adjacent to both sides of Franklin Boulevard and along the river. 

The conversation led by Courtney Griesel, Economic Development Manager, provided assurances that every issue and concern would be addressed in the development process. Thirteen priorities of Phase 1 adopted by the Citizen Advisory Committee and Council were shared among attendees of the meeting, which include: 

— Public connections to the river

— Public parks, plazas and multi-use paths

— Aesthetically pleasing, sustainable, context-sensitive development

— Public art opportunities

— Mix of uses suitable to Glenwood

— A variety of housing types

— Steward of natural resources and areas

— Protection of the public from potential natural and manmade hazards

— Celebration of Glenwood’s contributions to the region’s history

— Safe and convenient transportation system, prioritizing walkability, connectivity and all modes

— Urban public infrastructure and services

— Facilitation of redevelopment while addressing impacts of change to the existing community

— Facilitation of opportunities for businesses to provide goods & services to local, regional, statewide, national and international markets

“Phase I incorporated project initiation tasks, an inventory and analysis of existing conditions for all of Glenwood, and visioning for all of Glenwood. In addition, Phase I included developing plan concepts for and preparing an updated GRP applicable to land within the Phase I boundary,” according to the Glenwood Refinement Plan.

A progress timeline is being created with intention to remain connected to the adopted 2030 Springfield Area General Plan. A five-year plan could be adopted very soon that would include functional plans such as those related to transportation and public facilities.