About Downtown Eugene, Inc.

Downtown Eugene, Inc. (DEI) is a not-for-profit association of downtown property and business owners. Formed in 1988 and led by a volunteer board of directors, DEI’s primary interest is in the long-term economic health of the downtown core. DEI pursues this interest by advocating for public policy changes, supporting community public safety programs such as the Downtown Guides and building partnerships with other organizations that are concerned with downtown vitality.

The mission of Downtown Eugene, Inc. is to create a prosperous and inviting downtown, collaborating on strategies to advance a thriving mix of commercial and residential uses.

DEI pursues this mission through the following:

  • Engage downtown property owners, stakeholders and supporters, leveraging their support, ideas and talents in pursuing our vision.
  • Advance policies, programs and projects that add value to downtown.
  • Champion efforts to create a safe and beautiful downtown.
  • Promote downtown as a place to live, work, play and invest.


Eugene Skinner created the beginnings of our city with a simple trading post in 1846. After founding Eugene in 1862, Skinner ran a ferry service across the Willamette River, right about where the Ferry Street Bridge stands today.

A couple of fires laid claim to Columbia College and challenged local residents’ vision of creating a center for learning; but in 1876 when the University of Oregon first opened its doors, the vision of a center for learning began to materialize and can be seen and felt today in the vibrancy of the campus and the energy of our city. Eugene has grown rapidly and has produced various counter-cultural ideas since the University’s opening.

Preserving cultural history is an important piece in telling the story of generations who came before us. The Lane Historical Society is dedicated to sharing stories of the Oregon Trails, logging and the timber industry and the sports history that has made Eugene Tracktown USA. Below are downtown buildings and landmarks loaded with some of these historical memories.


DEI is not an isolated player in the work we do. A collaborative, strategic focus is an essential tool for reaching our goal. Below are some of the organizations we work with to build an active, economically strong downtown.

City of Eugene 
The City is prepared for development opportunities and facilitates desired downtown development.

The Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce 
We collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce on issues related to business advocacy and policy.

Downtown Eugene Merchants
Downtown Eugene Merchants is a non-profit merchants association that supports the economic development, enhancement, and promotion of Downtown Eugene. With its eclectic mix of one-of-a-kind retail, cultural assets, education, dining, technology and professional services, Downtown Eugene has emerged as a vibrant city center. For more information or to join Downtown Eugene Merchants, please email [email protected].
See a full list of members here.

Downtown Neighborhood Association 
An open membership group, the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) meets regularly to discuss issues concerning living, working and visiting downtown.

Board of Directors

Sarah Bennett, President
Bennett Management Co., LLC
Sue Prichard
Prichard Partners
Nicole Desch
Heritage Dry Goods
Kelly Bosch
UO Foundation
Tim Campbell
Campbell Commercial Real Estate
Andy Storment
Citizen’s Building
John Rowell
Rowell Brokaw Architects
Rob E. Bennett
Downtown Athletic Club
Gerry Gaydos, Past President
Gaydos, Churnside & Balthrop
Tobey Ritchie
Harry Ritchie Jewelers
Kaz Oveissi
Oveissi & Co.
Chad Barczak
IDX Brokers
Janet Brown
Citizen's Building


The City of Eugene and the Downtown Guides play an integral role in downtown by providing a safe, secure and welcoming place for everyone to shop, dine and explore. Our community encourages diversity and tolerance with a spirit of responsible citizenship.

A Downtown Without Graffiti

Downtown Eugene, Inc., is fighting graffiti in the Downtown Eugene Service District. Business owners and managers are encouraged to respond quickly to graffiti in the effort to discourage future incidents. For removal of graffiti in the Downtown Service District, report tagged locations to Downtown Eugene, Inc., at (541) 343-1117 or (541) 501-9286. *DEI removes graffiti from public and private spaces although our ability to remove graffiti varies depending on the location and surface.

Public Safety Contacts

Downtown Guides
Need help with directions
or other services in the
downtown area?
Ask a Guide in a red cap
for help or call:
(541) 501-9286

Eugene Police Department,
Downtown Station
10th & Olive
Lane Community College
Downtown Center
Non-emergency: (541) 682-5111
Emergency: Dial 911

Whitebird Clinic
A non-profit human service agency
(541) 484-4800