Knight Campus will affect Franklin Boulevard businesses

The Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact is displacing businesses and could affect programs at the University of Oregon.

After signing a lease for five more years and remodeling her restaurant, Usha Shaik was shocked when she got a phone call in October telling her she was going to have to move Evergreen Indian Restaurant from its location on Franklin Boulevard after 10 years.

“They didn’t give us any time, otherwise we wouldn’t have done all the remodeling,” she said.

Evergreen Indian Restaurant isn’t the only business on Franklin Boulevard being moved; the new Knight Campus is also displacing the Lucky Duck Espresso and Domino’s Pizza, Michael Harwood with campus planning facilities and management said.

Shaik needs to move her and her husband’s Indian restaurant to a new space by the end of the year. She said UO is helping her relocate and is covering some of the cost, but she is still worried about how her business will be affected.

“We’ve been looking so hard to find a location, but still we haven’t come to a point because a lot of places don’t have parking,” she said.

Shaik is not sure if she is going to find a new location in time and wants more help from UO. She is also worried she is going to lose the business she gets from university employees who often come to her restaurant for lunch. She wants to open a smaller version of her restaurant in the EMU after she moves to keep her customers from UO.

The new campus could also affect the Urban Farm, a UO garden located directly behind the Millrace. The Urban Farm is a part of the landscape architecture department and has been on campus since the 1970s. The gardening class is popular — this term there are two sections that have 70 students in each — that filled up quickly after spring registration opened, said Harper Keeler, the director of the garden. Keeler said the university understands that the garden cannot be relocated.

“They understand that you can’t just move a garden, […] you can kill it and start something else, but you can’t move soil that’s been working for 40 years,” he said.

The Knight Campus will be in front of the garden and will not displace it; however, Keeler is concerned about the shadows the buildings will cast.

“It could limit us considerably and it could shorten our growing season considerably,” Keeler said, “it takes time for the ground to warm up and dry out and it won’t do that in the shade.”

Keeler said the university is planning on working with the garden to help figure out how to limit the impact from the shadows.

Harwood, from campus planning, said the the buildings are not likely going to be taller than the trees that are already in front of the garden.

“There are no plans, there is nothing we’re even remotely talking about that is going to displace the Urban Garden,” Harwood said.

The Knight campus is also affecting art studios near the Millrace. Currently there are about 25 studios scattered across four buildings. Some of these will be moved by the Knight Campus and some won’t, Harwood said. There is a long-term goal of having all the art studios in one location, but for now they are working on finding a temporary solution.

“It’s important to the university and to AAA to get a permanent solution,” Harwood said, “[one] that brings them all together and allows them to be successful in their creative endeavors.”


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Emma Henderson

Emma Henderson