What will happen to businesses in the way of Oregon's $1 billion science campus?
EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon plans to build a $1 billion science campus along Franklin Boulevard - right where Usha Shaik's Evergreen Indian Cuisine and other businesses are located.
“This is all sudden and unexpected,” Shaik said. “We don’t know what to do at this point.”
UO announced last week its new Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact.
Current plans show that campus would include three new 70,000 square foot buildings across the street from the school, just on the other side of Franklin Boulevard.
Nothing is final yet, but that's what's worrisome to the business owners like Shaik, whose restaurant stands where artist renderings show the new buildings.
Evergreen is on university-owned land.
The restaurant signed a five year lease in February, so now they're taking it day by day and waiting to hear more.
Shaik said she hopes to stay put in one way or another.
“We love this location a lot,” she said. “My plan is my son goes to UO, just cross the road and go to UO, but I don't know.”
She said if Evergreen does have to move, she'd be happy with a location in one of those new science buildings or anywhere near the university.
Evergreen gets about 200 customers a day just for lunch, many of them regulars from the university.
“I’m crushed. I'm already crushed,” one of those regulars said.
She’s eaten there at least once a week for the past eight years. “I laid awake last night thinking of plans, how to bail my friends out, give them alternatives."
“Since last week everyone's asking me what are you gonna do, where are you gonna move,” Shaik said.
She said she simply doesn't know the answer.
One of the owners of Lucky Duck Espresso, also on Franklin Blvd., said his family has owned that business for about 15 years.
He said they’re also sad about what could happen but trying to stay positive.
A university spokesperson said it's too soon to talk in detail, but they plan to begin construction next year.