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 lead the long-term effort to ensure a prosperous and beautiful downtown.

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.

About Downtown Eugene Merchants

Downtown Eugene Merchants (DEM) is a non-profit merchants association made up of business owners and managers that operate in downtown Eugene. DEM partners with DEI, which is primarily made up of building owners. Membership is just $200/year and comes with many benefits, including:

  • A highlighted listing in the downtown Eugene map, printed biennially.
  • Access to a growing list of member business offers
  • Additional co-marketing opportunities
  • Voting ability at DEM meetings
  • Access to a member’s-only Google Group where you can collaborate and connect with other downtown business owners
  • More details in the flyer available here.

Membership dollars are used to support co-marketing opportunities, put on events, and otherwise work toward the DEM mission of promoting community, collaboration, and vibrancy for a more prosperous Downtown Eugene.

Downtown business owners can become a member of Downtown Eugene here.


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. Find out all about the benefits and opportunities that come with becoming a DEM member here. Membership is just $400 for two years and includes a highlighted listing in the downtown Eugene map.

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
David Fendrich
Brenner's Furniture
Meghan McMahon
Cascade Title Company
Jeremiah Wilgus
G Group
Tim Campbell
Campbell Commercial Real Estate
Andy Storment
Citizen’s Building
Rob E. Bennett
Downtown Athletic Club
Gerry Gaydos, Past President
Hershner Hunter
Chad Barczak
IDX Brokers
Janet Brown
Citizen's Building


DEI and The City of Eugene 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.

Downtown Police Team

Two additional officers are temporarily assigned to join the nine downtown officers and their sergeant to create a visible public safety presence in the downtown area. The downtown police station is located at 10th & Olive in the Lane Community College Downtown Center.

For non-emergencies call (541) 682-5111.

For emergencies call 911.

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


White Bird Clinic

White Bird Clinic is a non-profit human service agency offering a comprehensive package of social, emotional, and physical well-being services. CAHOOTS, an arm of White Bird Clinic, provides assistance for people experiencing crisis or health issues on the streets. CAHOOTS is available 24/7 and serves to provide relief for Police in circumstances of non-criminal situations like substance abuse, mental/emotional crisis, disorientation, welfare checks, and dispute facilitation.

To assist someone in crisis call the Eugene police non-emergency line (541) 682-5111.

For additional information on other White Bird services visit: http://whitebirdclinic.org/services/