BPM Real Estate Group to construct Riverwalk, a $70 million project on Eugene’s Goodpasture Island.

Big-budget apartment projects keep rolling in.

Fresh on the heels of news that major developers are advancing projects in the Pearl District, the Lloyd District and Hayden Island — among others — comes word that a Portland developer intends to construct a 466-unit upscale project in Eugene.


Monday, Wells Fargo Bank closed a $47.5 million construction loan with Portland-based BPM Real Estate Group to construct Riverwalk, a $70 million project on Eugene’s Goodpasture Island.

BPM, led by veteran developer Walter Bowen, began site work last year and will initiate building construction this month. The first phase of Riverwalk will include 274 units of apartments with the high-end amenities found in Portland’s tony Pearl District. The project includes 7,100 square feet of retail space and will be constructed on a 14-acre site previously owned by PeaceHealth.

The formerly undeveloped site is linked to a network of walking and biking paths.

The first phase will be ready for residents later this year. A second phase will bring 192 additional units with construction slated to begin in early 2015.

The prospect of nearly 500 new apartments begs the question: Can Eugene support so many high-amenity units? BPM and its lender clearly think the answer is yes.

Nelda Newton, senior vice president and commercial real estate manager at Wells Fargo, notes Eugene has a shortage of rental units, not just for University of Oregon students but at all levels.

The project will offer units at a variety of price points but generally expects to cater to working professionals, not students.

Last fall, the average vacancy rate apartments in the Eugene/Springfield area stood at a tight 3.69 percent, with rents averaging 99 cents per square foot, according to a bi-annual survey by the Metro Multifamily Housing Association.

BPM said it expects to charge between $850 to $2,500 per month, based on an initial study of the market. It will refine its projections with a market study this summer.

It expects to be a long-term owner and operator of the property.