By Julie Winsel

On the corner of 16th Avenue and Pearl Street, a team of local contractors, builders, designers, and arts organizations have been hard at work to bring The Midtown to life. Now, with it nearly completed and residents (including some of Eugene’s major arts organizations) starting to move in, The Midtown is making a name for itself and the surrounding neighborhood.

The project is a collaboration that has been brewing for more than 10 years between community philanthropist and developer Alex Haugland and the Eugene Ballet, hoping to bring life to a tricky lot and a fully functional and expanded space for the Eugene Ballet and other arts organizations.

“This allowed us to build a truly purpose-build structure to meet the needs of the Ballet and other resident arts organizations, providing a creative space without having to make compromises to an existing building design,” Haugland says. “Because housing was also in the plan from the beginning, we are able to take a lot of care to make sure that the coexistence of both goals within the same project worked harmoniously and strengthened each other, providing for the needs of the arts organizations, while at the same time, ensuring peaceful enjoyment of quiet, luxurious living in the condominiums.

The building’s architect, Paul Dustrud Architecture, also owns and operates a small commercial office on the bottom floor.

Aaron Bloom, exclusive realtor for sales, showed us around The Midtown Condos and Eugene Ballet executive director Josh Neckels guided us through the Midtown Arts Center.

The Midtown Condos

The attention to detail in The Midtown Condos is ever-present. This commitment to luxury and comfort shows through even just in how you enter the building with covered entry into the fully secure parking garages and bike storage or a fob-only entry on Pearl Street where guests must be buzzed in and then have fob-only access to access the rest of the building. In the lobby, there are small meeting spaces, complete with a special coffee blend from Bend Roasting Co. and other amenities to welcome guests, even if you are just sharing your time with them in the lobby.

Buyers can choose from various fine finishes, real wood used throughout, smart home automation systems (including those that control the lights, music, and the blinds with simple voice commands), and closet hardware upgrades. Each home has tall ceilings, large windows to take in the expansive views (with the coastal range or Three Sisters visible on clear days from certain spots), radiant-heated tile floors in the bathrooms, and balconies to enjoy the sounds and sights of the city while still maintaining privacy. The look is modern, bright, and comfortable, basking in natural light and luxurious detail.

“For many people, the condominium lifestyle provides far more flexibility than the typical single-family dwelling that makes up the majority of housing in Eugene,” Haugland says. “For those who enjoy travelling or who are looking at downsizing away from a large, high-maintenance property, it provides an ideal form of individually owned housing, providing the benefits of owning your own home along with increased security and peace of mind.”

There are 40 total luxury condos in The Midtown, including a spacious studios, one-, two-, and three-bedrooms options, and penthouses. On the fourth floor, there is also a clubhouse with a kitchenette, media lounge, and seating options. On the roof are comfy furniture and a gas fireplace for entertaining or just enjoying the stars.

“We are so excited to bring a product like The Midtown Condos to market to provide buyers with a great option for this lifestyle, “ Bloom says.

The Midtown Arts Center

“My family has long been patrons of the arts in Lane County,” Haugland says. “We have had a very close relationship with the Ballet and my father in particular had previously helped them acquire and move into the original Midtown Arts Center, which was at 16th and Willamette. That space was a good proof of concept to show that combining many of the arts groups in the area under one roof provided a lot of advantages to all the organizations, both from an economic and an artistic perspective.”

Fully owned by the Eugene Ballet, the Lane Arts Council, Chamber Music Amici, Eugene Concert Choir, Eugene Mozart Players, Eugene Opera, Orchestra Next, #Instaballet, and Pacific International Chorus Festivals (with space for more) also call the Midtown Arts Center home.

“With these groups sharing space, they share the cost of a lot of the infrastructure and the resources of the building itself, reducing their overhead as well as helping to foster collaboration both on and off the stage,” Haugland says.

The new space has larger and more studios for the performing groups and classes, larger receiving and waiting areas for the kids involved in arts programs and their families, storage and production rooms to have all costumes and supplies in one place (including a sewing room with laundry facilities). One studio can even be expanded to be the full size of the Silva Concert Hall stage at the Hult Center, so that groups can perfect their marks to match performance scale. Each studio is wired for camera and screen use, to continue the option of virtual classes. There is also ample wall space, slated to feature rotating exhibits of works by local artists.

“Of all the arts groups that will be in the new Midtown Arts Center, the Eugene Ballet was the one with the greatest need for a new facility and at the same time, was the organization best placed to manage the Arts Center portion of the building,” Haugland says. “As the owners of the old Midtown Arts Center, they were also in the best position to lead on making that part of this new project work.”

The Midtown District

“Midtown Eugene is in many ways the real heart of the city,” Haugland says. “Equidistant from downtown and the University of Oregon campus and location near the intersection of travel corridors that run to all parts of Eugene, it is a location that provides easy, direct, bike-friendly routes to all parts of the city. In order for a condominium project to work anywhere, it has to take walkability into account and the Midtown District provides for that with groceries, restaurants, coffee shops, and a range of other wonderful businesses within just a few blocks of this location.”

With close access to restaurants like Vero Espresso, Toshi’s Ramen, and The Bier Stein; organizations like Ophelia’s Place and ELAW, and other businesses like those in the Meridian Building, the Midtown District has long been a thriving neighborhood, just without an official name.

“Midtown Eugene is a perfect place to blend residential living and the arts,” Bloom says. “The location in comparison to all the local shops and restaurants as well as the running and bike paths make it the perfect location and a new anchor for the thriving Midtown District. Many shops have always struggled with explaining their destination in town. Hopefully, The Midtown the new destination we all call the Midtown District will help people identity their location for the foreseeable future.”