University closes deal on critical Knight Campus property

Artist rendering of Knight Campus buildings

The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact  has made a significant step forward, as the University of Oregon closed on a primary property that will all but clear the way for phase one of the project.

The property at the corner of Franklin Boulevard and Agate Street is currently home to a Domino’s Pizza franchise and is considered a critical space for the campus.

“We are thrilled to bring this to a close in a way that stayed true to our values of making the acquisition through good faith negotiations,” said Kevin Reed, vice president and general counsel.

The university paid $1.9 million for the property and, with the assistance of the property’s former owner, is providing the owner of the Domino’s Pizza franchise financial support for relocation of the popular eatery.

“We have made significant strides forward, with the help of our Oregon-based architects and contractors, and by continuing to work in Salem to earn support from the state,” said Patrick Phillips, acting executive director of the Knight Campus. “The future of higher education is unfolding before our eyes, and we will be continuing to showcase the value of a state investment through the remainder of the legislative session.”

Fueled in part by a $500 million lead gift from Penny and Phil Knight, the campus is a $1 billion initiative that will dramatically shorten the timeline between laboratory discovery and societal impact through world-class research, training and entrepreneurship in a nimble scientific enterprise.

“The vision for this incredible initiative is taking shape with great speed thanks to the Knight family and their tremendous vote of confidence,” Phillips said. “They are helping to build something that will help to ensure the economic stability of the state.”

With anticipated groundbreaking this fall, conversations continue with the owners of Evergreen Indian Cuisine, a family-owned staple of Eugene dining. Reed said the owners have identified a property they hope to purchase, transforming the restaurateurs from renters to owners if all goes well.

Evergreen’s owners are committed to continuing to serve their patrons in Eugene, and the university is working hard to help them relocate. Reed anticipates final relocation details will be worked out  in the not-too-distant future.

“We are continuing our conversations with others that are impacted,” Reed said. “We are highly optimistic that a similar outcome will grow out of our negotiations with other tenants and property owners.”

Knight Campus area map

By Tobin J. Klinger, University Communications