Moving to Eugene

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El Jim
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Joined: 06/03/2015

Hey All, long time lurker here. I am moving to Eugene next month, looking forward to shredding Whypass ! My question is, are there areas of Eugene or Springfield to avoid living in ?

Jim

 

SchralphMacchio
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Joined: 01/03/2017

Hey Jim, I'm moving to Eugene next month too!

That's a broad question, as it really depends on your priorities ... family, close to riding, close to work, walkable community, budget, etc.

I'm moving with just wife & pets, no kids. After weeks of research and a few days driving through town, I ended up breaking down the areas like this ... I figure it ought to be useful for you and others.

  • Outer Northwest & Western Areas: Bethel, Santa Clara, Irving
    Not my cup of tea, all recently converted farmland subdivisions, not developed for local businesses - all big box stores, not walkable, and the east-west traffic on Beltline, though short in duration, is why I'm leaving my current town. Benefits are closer to airport if you travel, closer to Alsea, and about $1/ft2 monthly rental costs for a recently built modern house with tiny excuse for a yard that looks identical to your neighbor.
     
  • Cal Young / Ferry St Bridge
    Nice houses on the north side of the river, but some of the newer ones are pretty cheesy 70's-80's style, good sized yards, 15 minute bike ride or 5-10 minute drive into Whit/Downtown. Local amenities like Safeway & local malls are really convenient, houses are affordable. Very practical place to live, close to the action without being in the action. I'm seeing houses rent for about $1.25/ft2 here.
     
  • Northwest Springfield
    Affordable, not too far from anything, but no convenient amenities, drive a few miles to Safeway, WinCo or Fred Meyer. I saw houses for about $1 to $1.10/ft2 for rent.
     
  • Springfield - Central & Thurston
    I didn't look at all into this. I wanted to be closer to Eugene shops & local parks. Without a doubt it's more affordable here than Eugene.
  • Western Eugene
    Industrial area with commercial conversions on the main thoroughfares, old bungalows on the outskirts. Main thoroughfares like 11th St west of Chambers/Garfield are super busy and slow. This is where the random gun shop, pawn shop, tire shop, strip malls, etc seem to be concentrated. I stopped looking at home prices here after driving down 11th in the middle of the day, just not my thing.

    River St
    North side is lacking character and has small affordable subdivision track homes from the 70's, many lots I saw seemed tightly packed. South side has local shops and close to Whit. Not the highest or lowest rent prices, but still closer to Cal Young prices. Still not very walkable, with few local parks, but South side is at least bike rideable to Whit & Downtown. 
     

  • Whiteaker
    "Cool" if you like trendy bars and restaurants. Busy nightlife but not the undergrad scene. Waterfront parks are great, Skinners Butte is a nice hike and tons of places to take dogs, skate park under highway 105 offramp, breweries, climbing gym. Possibly the most walkable part of Eugene. Some vagrants etc on the main streets 6th and 7th. Houses are old and many have not been well cared for - hard to find stuff in good conditions. Small houses, small yards, plus the fencing and garages seem non-existent. $1.30 to $1.45 per ft2.
     
  • Downtown
    Just south of downtown isn't actually all that busy, close to parks, close to restaurants and shops, walk/bike everywhere. North downtown has a lot of renovation going on, cool shops taking over the old town commercial lots. Lock your stuff well though! Didn't look at housing options or prices (really limited inventory) but closer you get to campus the more stupid asking pricess will get.
     
  • East/West Campus
    Avoid Frat Row (Hillyard?), stupid asking prices for anything remotely within walking distance to campus ($1.50+/ft2), busy. Some cute houses around East Campus, but closer to campus you get the less convenient things become, such as lack of street parking and being inundated by undergrads. Seems like an avoid unless you wanna pick up on undergrads. Friendly area is a bit further out west from campus and north of College Hill, pretty cool area, didn't look too closely though. Be aware that some parts of Amazon Creek where it runs east/west is a 1% flood zone about 1 block off the creek.
     
  • Southwest Hills
    Nice 1980's houses, good views, not as expensive as Crest or Southeast, but not as convenient to shops. Can be good access to Whypass via Bailey Hill Road, without having to cut across town etc. Really hilly, some roads very steep (PITA on a bike), most roads narrow without sidewalk, not walkable for doing errands, $1.20+/ft2.
     
  • College Hill & Amazon
  • Very walkable, a bit busy traffic around Willamette and Hillyard close to 30th street, but not so bad, great access to local parks, small hills but short bike ride to downtown, lots of local shops and restaurants. Upper Amazon Creek trails (southeast along Amazon) seem really great for dog walking. 30th St is good for egress to I5. Convenient for groceries with many options between 24th and 30th. Some undergrad presence, but feels well balanced here. $1.40 to $1.50/ft2. Crest neighborhood is south of College Hill and definitely more middle aged residents, but great parks and convenient to good local shops etc.
     
  • Laurel Hill
    Kind of an isolated part of town that is a convenient drive and bike ride to the river and parks (like Hendricks, Laurel Hill), but the closest market is Market of Choice and otherwise you have to drive over some hills or bridges to get to a legitimate supermarket. Bigger houses here, I5 highway noise not as bad as it seems it could be. $1.00 to $1.15 /ft2.
     
  • Other Southeast Hills (Fox Hollow, Dillard)
    Many local parks off the Amazon byway, the further Southeast you get, the closer you are to "bike legal gravel paths in the woods" which is not really "riding" but it's at least something to spin your legs or take your dog into the woods. If you get way Southeast you have egress to I5 via Dillard Road. Safeway and local groceries on 40th, otherwise you have to drive a bit more toward College Hill/Amazon for restaurants and shops. Nice houses, generally 70's-80's ranches, good for families, generally good sized yards, good for walking in the woods nearby, definitely not where the college kids live. $1.00 to $1.30/ft2, depends how lucky you get and how close you are to a park!
     
  • Spring Blvd
    If you can afford to live up there, then why are you asking me this question ... ;)

Good luck! 

I ended up having to pay more than I originally wanted to find a place that my wife would be happy with and also allowed us to have a puppy and a cat (which is a freaking rarity in Eugene), hopefully signing the lease papers soon.

~alex

El Jim
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Joined: 06/03/2015

THANK YOU ! An exhaustive treatise on Eugene

El Jim
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Joined: 06/03/2015

THANK YOU ! An exhaustive treatise on Eugene

El Jim
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Joined: 06/03/2015

THANK YOU ! An exhaustive treatise on Eugene

taylorj
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Joined: 03/11/2013

Wow! I think Alex deserves some kind of recognition award for his feedback.
I will chime in with this:

I have been here a fare amount of time now and currently reside in SW Eugene; which far from sucks, but --
I will say if you don't want/need to commute or go to the bars by bike, the best housing deals are outside of Eugene, e.g, Creswell, Cottage Grove, Springfield, Thurston, Pleasant Hill, Veneta, Santa Clara.

Regarding crime, etc.  https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/or/eugene/crime
IMO one should take all this data with a grain of salt and be sensitive to the reality for every instance that gets reported or responded to, there are dozens that don't.   I am sure just about everyone on this forum has got a bike stolen here in the area or knows someone that has.  So, yeah be prepared to not ride your good bike around town. If you don't have one, build up what I used to call my "bar bike" for rolling around town. (mine was a late 80's centurion and looked like I dregged it up from the river).  

Good luck and post up when you are local and ready to ride!

 

- Josh 

El Jim
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Joined: 06/03/2015

Will do !

SchralphMacchio
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Joined: 01/03/2017

City bike is a given for me ... I currently live in Oakland, not the one in Oregon, and the steel-door bike room in my apartment building has been targeted 3 times in the last 2 years.

The first two were successful attempts to relieve me of my bikes. First time he jimmied the lock on the door, then easily clipped my crappy cable. I upgraded both bike and locking strategy - got a used XTR Yeti SB-66, and a fat diameter chain with fairly beefy master lock. Landlord repaired the door to the bike room.

But the guy was a pro ... 6 months later, he crowbarred his way back into the room and drilled out the lock because the chain was so massive that the lock was the weak point. Both Yeti and Canondale road bike gone.

So then I got an X01 Bronson C, the landlord completely re-built the door and frame with heavy gauge steel bars, and installed a super heavy duty lock that would not easily be jimmied. I kept the chain and upgraded lock to a huge 10-12 ounce ABUS lock. The guy came back a third time and tried to crowbar his way into the room but was defeated.

Somehow I don't think that any crime that finds me in the Amazon Hills will be quite as bad as where I'm at now ...

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