At the ground level, around the perimeter of both buildings at the West End, is a covered pedestrian walk: a traditional arcade. The roof lets passing pedestrians easily drop by and watch the many small-scale workshops in action.
These workshops directly interact with the public. Besides selling their stock pieces, we expect the workshops to provide reasonably priced custom services.
This kind of public visibility is rarely available to small-scale manufacturers. We believe it will make the businesses more responsible to the community. In response, we believe the community will be more supportive of West End businesses they consider indispensable.
The West End offers small-scale manufacturers structural opportunities to cooperate. Clustered workshops can save money by sharing office equipment, retail space, and large pieces of machinery.
We will design the building with these specific uses in mind, so that the workspaces fit their tenants like a home. We will attempt to cluster workshops with related interests: food, glassworks, metalshops, woodwork, publishing, etc. Generally these will cluster around a plaza. In one, Eugene's new International Youth Hostel will anchor several multicultural organizations.
The West End also will provide services many tenants' businesses can use, such as childcare, delivery, marketing and referral services. We will also actively ensure that organizations are aware of each others' hours and activities, so that they take advantage of cooperative opportunities.
In our proposal, there is housing and workspace surrounding both buildings. Because it would mean giving up opportunites to improve the city, we do not abandon any outside edge of the buildings.
Working with and strengthening businesses near these edges is one of our major goals. Two of our plazas are purposely placed to complement activity adjacent to the site.
One is at Hutch's bicycles. We have designed a plaza near its alley service entrance, so that customers can park on the ground floor of the structure and walk through a pleasant plaza to the service door.
The other plaza forms a food court where the back of Govinda's restaurant meets the backyard of Pipin' Hot Bakery. This is an excellent spot for the two businesses to run an outdoor serving area, perhaps with other food businesses in this plaza.