The people behind a major proposed development in downtown Eugene are ready for public opinion to help shape their plans.

On Friday, the first of three public comment sessions will occur on the proposed 2-acre development site, north of Sixth Avenue between Oak and Pearl Streets.

Obie Companies and the Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County have proposed a housing and commercial development on vacant county-owned land, one block west of the upscale Fifth Street Public Market.

The public on Friday will be asked what it would like to see in relation to seven broad development guidelines: site access and circulation, building uses, building massing, common areas and public space, development character, parking, and public health and safety.

"This is going to be a Eugene landmark that will serve our community for years," said developer Brian Obie, owner of Fifth Street Public Market. "We want the design to honor and reflect the area. Public input is a vital part of this process."

The Obie/HACSA proposal called for 170 market-rate apartments, 64 publicly subsidized apartments for low-income renters, restaurants and retail space.

Friday's opinion gathering will take place in a tent on the development site.

At present, the property is mostly parking lots.

"There will be easels for people to give their suggestions on each of these categories," said HACSA Executive Director Larry Abel. "And from that, we will go back to the drawing board and put together these design guidelines."

The Obie's portion of the development is being designed by Ankrom Moisan of Portland. Bergsund DeLaney of Eugene is the architect for HACSA's apartment building, which could be four to six stories, Abel said.

The other two meetings will be on June 6 and June 27.

In November, the Lane County Board of Commissioners approved a 99-year lease for the land with Obie Companies and HACSA.

HACSA is a county public agency that has used federal tax credits and funding to build 3,500 units of low-income housing in Lane County.

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