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Lowe's eyes site in west Eugene.

Byline: Randi Bjornstad The Register-Guard

Lowe's, the nation's second-largest home improvement retailer, has approached the city of Eugene about locating a new home improvement outlet in west Eugene at the northeast corner of Bailey Hill Road and West 11th Avenue.

The 12-acre property now holds a vacated ShopKo store and a still-operating Safeway grocery store. Lowe's preliminary plans show that both buildings would be demolished and replaced with a 138,000-square-foot home improvement outlet and a 31,000-square-foot garden center, city planner Gabe Flock said.

More than a year ago, Lowe's inquired about putting a store in west Eugene, on a 47-acre parcel at West 11th Avenue and Willow Creek Road, but problems with zoning and parking derailed that plan. The site now under consideration already has a commercial designation that "is appropriate for a big-box retailer," Flock said.

Lowe's also has received approval of a zone change necessary for it to locate a 170,000-square-foot home improvement warehouse in northeast Springfield, near the intersection of Marcola Road and 28th Street. The store would be part of a 56-acre mixed-use development called the Villages at Marcola Meadows, incorporating residential, retail and office uses. A master plan for the project will be the next step toward development.

Lowe's entry into the Eugene-Springfield area would rachet up the competition in an already crowded home improvement market.

The locally owned Jerry's Home Improvement Center has two stores, at Highway 99 and Belt Line Road in Eugene and at 2525 Olympic St. in Springfield.

Home Depot, the biggest fish in the national home improvement pond, has outlets at 1045 Green Acres Road and 808 Seneca Road, both in Eugene. The company also has indicated an interest in locating a third store on the old Mohawk shopping center property in central Springfield, owned by local McKay Investment Co., which wants to redevelop the site.

If all the home improvement centers now in the works are constructed, there will be seven serving the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area, which has a population of about 270,000 people.

Lane County records indicate that a limited liability corporation called First United Eugene purchased the ShopKo property in January for an undisclosed sum. The corporation is an arm of A&C Ventures Inc., of Sonoma, Calif., a company that deals in single tenant net leases throughout the country.

County tax records list the combined real market value of the ShopKo and Safeway locations at nearly $25 million. The value of the land accounts for $5.3 million of the total.

According to its Web site, Lowe's has more than 1,400 stores in 49 states.

Home Depot's network consists of more than 2,000 stores in the United States and its territories Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well as in Canada, Mexico and China.

RETAIL BOOM

Area's existing or proposed hardware giants

Existing: Two Home Depots, two Jerry's Home Improvement Centers

Proposed:

Two Lowe's, one Home Depot
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 23, 2007
Words:488
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