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Biz Beat 11-7-2013

 Eugeneans are still pondering the boom in student housing and wondering when it will end. In light of the overbuilding (see our cover story Oct. 10) we predict several big projects on the drawing board will be shelved before groundbreaking. College enrollment has peaked, so the big out-of-state investors have been counting on drawing tenants from existing apartments and houses all over town. That’s happening to a degree, but Eugene is not a typical college town. A lot of the students we know are independent, outdoorsy types who prefer a more quiet, laid-back lifestyle with dogs, cats and wooden front porches. What can rental owners around town do to better compete? They might need to rethink their pet policies, for one thing, and property management companies might need loosen up some of their adversarial policies and practices (we hear a lot of horror stories from students). And future high-rise housing developers might be wise to design a mix of units to accommodate students, families, even seniors. The demographics are changing.

Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss is holding its annual “Night of Bliss” community celebration from 5 to 9 pm Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 13th and Chambers in Eugene. The event, by donation, is a benefit for the School Garden Project of Lane County and Beyond Toxics. Last year the event raised more than $3,000 for its selected nonprofits. Live music and activities for children are planned, and other businesses involved are Cousin Jack’s Pasty Company, Organically Grown Company and Holy Cow Café. See coconutbliss.com. 

National news reports tell us home mortgage rates have been climbing due in part to the improved economy, predictions of inflation, the government shutdown and speculation that the Fed will cut back on its stimulus programs. But we hear this week from local mortgage broker Nick Carter of OMT Mortgage that “rates have been creeping back downward with a 30-year fixed in the mid to lower 4 percent range and a 15-year fixed in the mid 3 percent range.” Might be a good time to buy.

The GreenLane Sustainable Business Network is busy this fall and is planning its third annual Net Impact-GreenLane mixer from 5:30 to 7 pm Thursday, Nov. 14. Net Impact is a sustainable business nonprofit with a chapter at UO. Get venue details and RSVP at walexand@uoregon.edu or call (503) 929-6269.

Friends of Trees in Lane County is beginning its neighborhood tree-planting season this month. It might be too late to register for Crew Leader Training Nov. 7, but volunteers are needed from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays, starting Nov. 17 in Santa Clara and continuing Dec. 7 in south Eugene. Bring gloves and boots. See friendsoftrees.org for information about activities in Eugene, Corvallis and Albany.

Send suggestions for Biz Beat items to editor@eugeneweekly.com and please put “Biz Beat” in the subject line.