The Glenwood area is attracting new development. EMMA ROUTLEY/FILE PHOTO

GLENWOOD – The Springfield Economic Development Agency this week selected a team to develop its nine acres of Glenwood riverfront property. 

City staff will enter into an exclusive negotiation agreement with developers Edlen and Co. and deChase Miksis, giving the team a green light to engage with neighboring property owners and the community in a formal capacity.  

“The best part of progress is the first step,” commissioner chair Marilee Woodrow said at Monday’s SEDA meeting. This step is more about finding the appropriate developer and less about the specifics of the riverfront project itself, though community vision, as reflected in the Glenwood Refinement Plan, dictates that the site includes: 

■ A mix of commercial, employment and residential uses within a dense environment

■ Accessible pedestrian, bike and vehicular connections to and through the site

■ Public access to the riverfront 

■ Open spaces

The board did not seek specific development ideas or proposals for the site at this time. “There is no project yet,” commissioner Joe Berney said. Instead, SEDA focused first on selecting a developer with experience in similarly scaled and themed development.

A definitive timeline is hard to pin down based on numerous factors, said Courtney Griesel, economic development manager. “Ultimately, the timeline is fluid.”

The 2030 Eugene-Springfield Comprehensive Plan includes the Glenwood Refinement Plan.

Edlen and Co. is part of a joint-venture agreement with deChase Miksis, a Eugene-based team. Their combined experience includes about 40 completed projects and 12 projects under construction. 

The leadership team includes Jill Sherman, Mark Edlen, Roger Krage, and Matt Edlen with Edlen as well as Mark Miksis and Dean Papé with Miksis. They have partnered in eight joint-venture projects to date.

“I look forward to partnering with (the developers) … to figure out what a project looks like, how many housing units we’re talking about … and what kind of jobs are created,” Berney said. “I see no downside. I see this as our fastest option to move forward on generating this kind of development.”

Among their notable projects already in the books are South Waterfront Central District in Portland; Crescent Village in Eugene; Capitol Hill Station in Seattle; Brewery Blocks in Portland; and the YMCA in Eugene. 

It’s been a long time coming for the Glenwood area, and “we’re closer on this piece of property than we ever have been before,” mayor Sean VanGordon said. “We’re following the decisions this community made almost almost 20 years ago,” referring to the Glenwood Urban Renewal Plan that was adopted in 2004. 

“It’s moving forward, slowly,” said commissioner Steve Moe, who is a longtime Glenwood resident and an advocate for Glenwood development. “We have just not done very much over the years … I think it’s gonna be wonderful, but it’s gonna be another five to 10 years and I don’t think people knew how long this process would take when people first voted on the Urban Renewal Plan,” Moe said.

The team will finance the project with a combination of personal and company money, equity and debt partners, according to its proposal, and the final funding would be determined by matching the best sources of capital to the investment. 

Community members and local organizations have been sharing concerns with SEDA during public comment periods about maintaining the health, wellness and accessibility of the Willamette River in light of future development plans. 

Michelle Emmons, upper watershed program manager for the Willamette Riverkeepers, asked that the City and developers be proactive in “acknowledging the need for the community to connect directly with the river … and doing a better job of supporting direct river access.”

Daphne Mantis, Springfield resident, said she wants more communication around this project, especially as it relates to river access. 

“The community deserves a public forum to have meaningful, ongoing dialogue during the course of development and planning proposals … and to collaborate in accordance with the Glenwood Refinement Plan to bring development to a successful reality,” Mantis said.