Renovation of historic car dealership moves forward on UO campus

The former Joe Romania car dealership on Franklin Boulevard could become a mixed-used complex.

Posted: Jan 23, 2019 6:13 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2019 6:17 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A major renovation proposed for a University of Oregon property is getting closer to becoming a reality now that the university has selected a developer for the project. 

Under the proposal, the former Joe Romania car dealership on Franklin Boulevard would become a mixed-use complex. It's located just east of campus between Orchard and Walnut streets and is currently used as storage for UO Campus Planning and Facilities Management, in addition to parking.

“It’s been there forever," Little Big Burger employee Philip Martin said. "They haven’t really done anything with it other than the parking. It doesn’t really get much use."

The renovation would include a hotel, apartments, offices, restaurants, stores and a parking garage.

Businesses in the area would be affected if the proposal is approved, and many told KEZI 9 News they're excited that more people will feel inclined to come to that side of campus.

The university decided between a few different proposals from potential developers and ended up choosing a Portland developer called "Project."

Officials said this a public-private partnership, meaning the university will still own the property but would lease it to the firm under the proposal.

They are currently in the negotiation process, and once they come to an agreement, construction will start and officials said it could be finished as early as 2021.

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