Bait And Switch Is Part Of Eugene’s History

Thank you, Bob Warren, for such a powerful exposé and condemnation of the urban renewal scam and the resulting degradation of our community fabric (EW, 8/18).

Let me add to Warren’s list of local scams, which spread beyond urban renewal but are based on the same “bait-and-switch” tactics:

The Hyundai plant in West Eugene. The bait: “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” the promoters promised. The switch: Abandoned and fenced for years now.

The Capstone student warehousing project. The bait: Promise of mixed-use development. The switch: Ground-floor commercial never happened.

The West Eugene EmX Extension. The bait: A vision of a revitalized, mixed-use West 6th and 7th avenues corridor with hundreds of additional apartments to address the housing shortage. The switch: Gas spewing monster buses running nearly empty down avenues on which every month or so a new gas station and convenience store is built.

The so-called missing middle housing code amendments. The bait: More affordable housing and redressing racial inequities. The switch: Redevelopment and gentrification with expensive condos and luxury apartments generating millions in profit for private equity funds while displacing lower-income renters.

How many years ago did The Who sing it so clearly?

Smile and grin at the change all around

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I’ll get on my knees and pray

We don’t get fooled again

Don’t get fooled again, no, no

Unfortunately, with the current mayor and city manager, we can expect Eugene citizens to get fooled again and again.

Paul Conte


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