RG07.2 how to woo the hospital

The best location for the new McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center would be 2nd & Chambers. It represents the center of Eugene geographically, evidenced by the central fire station that was located there. It’s right off a major road artery that provides quick access to the Beltline and so to RiverBend, so doctors can easily shuffle between the two locations. And it’s an area where there’s not much going on just yet. The Eugene City Council has tried once to interest the hospital in locating there, with no luck. So how could they improve their chances this time? Don’t start with the hospital. Negotiate land purchase options for land on either side of the site you’d like the hospital to consider and give those options (at city expense) to a developer who will build a shopping center and another developer who will build a boutique hotel. If the hospital then agrees, all three projects can move ahead. Then they don’t have to be first, so there’s much less risk. It’s worked with the Florence casino and also with what we hope will become a light rail system following the success of EmX: “Pretend to build it. And if they come, then build it.”