Eugene River District project featured in Open for Business magazine

by Dave Hauser
feature in Open for Business
February/March 2015 issue

Aspirational thoughts for 2015

This is the time of year when economists offer their insights into the economic future. Based on what I've been reading, most predict that 2015 will continue to build on the solid economic progress established in 2014. That's good, but here at the Chamber, our focus is local. And therefore, I have pondered: What would make 2015 a great year for Eugene-Springfield? What would dramatically contribute to the growth of our regional economy and consequently enhance the livability of our region? 

Here are seven news stories I would like to read in the coming year: 

1. EWEB and the University of Oregon Foundation complete negotiations that will enable the foundation to move forward with the redevelopment in the riverfront district.

2. RAIN Eugene moves forward with the development of an entrepreneurial and innovation hub in downtown. 

3. Legislative leaders compromise on sick leave and minimum wage legislation, supporting Oregon workers while restricting burdensome local regulations that impede economic progress. 

4. Construction of the West Eugene EmX moves ahead toward a 2017 completion date, and business impacts are considered negligible. 

5. After a decade-long growth study, elected officials move ahead with modest Urban Growth Boundary expansions to increase supplies of job-producing lands. 

6. Whole Foods moves briskly toward the opening of its downtown store in March 2016, continuing the positive transformation of downtown Eugene. 

7. The Chamber and Eugene Airport construct a package of inducements to bring direct air service from San Jose, creating connections that support a burgeoning technology and start-up community. 

William Shakespeare said, "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves."

We can make 2015 a great year for our region by working together, focusing on accomplishments and making this great place even better.