Eugene retailers get makeovers


Some of Eugene’s vacant boxy former retail stores are being redeveloped into rows of boutiques.

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Some of Eugene’s vacant boxy former retail stores are being redeveloped into rows of boutiques.

In the boom years, developers built huge stores for major chains that have now gone out of business.

Figuring out what to do with empty big-box stores — ghost boxes, as some call them — is a particular preoccupation in communities across the country, said June Williamson, New York City-based co-author of “Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs.”

The transformation is under way, for example, on a parcel near the Washington-­Jefferson Bridge, where developer Brent Lanz is remodeling an old Subaru dealership into a mini-shopping-center that’s soon to hold a coffee shop, a health retailer and a restaurant.

And a similar repurposing is in the works for the six-years-vacant Good Guys building in the Delta Oaks shopping center, according to city records. An unnamed buyer plans to tear down 25 percent of the building, reorient the new project to the east — facing the Market of Choice — and build spaces for small-scale retailers.

Read more at The Register-Guard.

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