Illustration by Chelsea Lovejoy

Brick by Brick

Eugene and Springfield unveil new city districts to attract young people looking for housing

Eugene has the Whit, full of funky businesses and beer, and the city has the Market District, home to Fifth Street Public Market. But Eugene city planners have been stumped over how to make the tall boxy student housing along Franklin Boulevard and near the University of Oregon more marketable. Until now.

Inspired by the UO’s long tradition of making money off branding, the city of Eugene has announced its new student-housing inspired district: The Lego District.

“We couldn’t help but to notice the way the five-over-one buildings and featureless 12-story student apartments looked just like a tower that a child would make out of Legos,” says Eugene Planning & Development Administration Executive Director Denny Braud. “So we reached out to Legos, and well, they didn’t say no!” 

Braud points out that despite the availability of apps and games like Fortnite and Minecraft, Legos remain a popular toy. “Living somewhere that looks just like the blocks they pieced together as a child will make students feel welcome,” he says. 

“The word Lego comes from the Danish words ‘leg godt,’ meaning ‘play well,’ and Eugene plays well with others,” says Sarah Medary, Eugene’s city manager. “So to show how well we play, and what leaders we are in housing and marketing, we have invited Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon to the unveiling of the sign for the new district.” That sign, Medary says, will be made entirely of Legos.

Reached for comment about the invitation, VanGordon says that all rumors of competitiveness between the two cities are false, but that he will be unable to attend, as that same day Springfield will be designating its own Lincoln Log District. 

VanGordon says the city has purchased the International Paper mill off of 42nd Street, where it will tear down the mill and build tiny homes for hipsters. “The housing will be made of recycled wood styled as logs,” VanGordon says. “This will honor Springfield’s pioneer past while appealing to Millennials with disposable income.” 

VanGordon says that looking ahead, his dream is for Springfield to establish a My Little Pony District that would allow for houses and barns on small acreages in Glenwood that would be painted in pastel colors. “We anticipate that the district would be very popular with horse girls and Bronies,” he says. However, the mayor refused to comment on the rumors he has already purchased a small plot of land in Glenwood.

To attend the launch of the Lego District, send a MiniFig with your name and email to the city of Eugene’s Planning Department by April 1. To find out more about the Lincoln Log District, email the city of Springfield with the words “avocado toast” in the subject line.