• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

West EMX Update: Property Impacts

West Eugene EmX might have a bigger effect on your sex toy habit than on most West 11th businesses.

As LTD’s West Eugene EmX Extension continues its early planning stages, real estate analyst Richard Duncan presented to City Council this week an overview of effects the bus rapid transit project would likely have on properties on the route, along with suggestions of how to minimize effects on properties and avoid code issues.

Duncan’s firm identified the two properties that would be the most impacted: the Adult Shop at 720 Garfield St. and King’s Asian Market at 2100 W. 11th Ave. Both would have net parking losses, and the Adult Shop would require changes in its sidewalk and billboards to maintain code compliance. A change in West 11th’s median structure could potentially mitigate the parking loss for King’s Market.

In total, Duncan said that a high-end estimate for cost of acquisition of 2.5 acres in total along the 4-mile route would be about $4 million. LTD spokesman Andy Vobora told EW that the cost includes parking reconfigurations and the scenario in which LTD would have to buy the Adult Shop completely, but not billboard movements and other perceived damages.

Vobora said, “The property purchases and modifications would be fully funded by funds from the Federal Transit Authority (FTA), which yesterday notified LTD that it has been named in the president’s fiscal 2013 budget for the first $19 million in funding. A total of $75 million in project funding has been identified by FTA to complete the West Eugene EmX project.”

Three ODOT-owned sites were proposed for complete acquisition, but Duncan said ODOT has indicated it would donate them for the EmX project.

Other properties would require smaller modifications, like the Red Apple grocery store, which Duncan said probably has some parking in the public right of way. The Mini Pet Mart at 6th & Blair would need to have a non-structural wall extending from the building removed. Duncan said the property owner has indicated that would not be a problem.

The analysts were tasked with minimizing parking impacts by identifying trouble spots and planning reconfigurations or other mitigations. Along the 4-mile route, 54-66 spaces had the potential to be impacted according to the analysis, but reconfigurations and reducing stretches of sidewalk width (within the city code’s 5-foot minimum) would cut that number to 20 spaces, 13 of them at the Adult Shop and King’s Asian Market. Vobora says those mitigations would be legally binding once the environmental assessment has been approved.

Councilor Pat Farr asked about impacts to Gray’s Garden Center at 6th and Monroe, which uses parking for large vehicles hauling loads. Duncan’s analysis indicated that no net parking reduction in size or in parking type (compact vs. standard) for that site.