OSU Adding $16M Housing Complex For Hatfield Marine Science Center

Rendering courtesy of OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center

With housing scarce on the coast, the 77-unit project will serve students and staff at the Newport research facility, which has struggled to attract both.

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Oregon State University is building a $16 million residential project to house students, staff and visiting scientists working at its coastal Hatfield Marine Science Center.

The 77-unit project should aid in recruitment help alleviate a housing crunch in the area, according to a university press release issued earlier this week.

Officials including Newport’s mayor and statehouse delegation extolled the project in a groundbreaking ceremony Monday. Center director Bob Cowen said it will help address the region’s significant workforce housing shortage. Rental vacancy rates in Lincoln County are below 2% and OSU struggles to attract students and scientists to Hatfield, according to the university.

“Housing is critical to the future of Hatfield Marine Science Center and its ability to support coastal research and education opportunities,” Cowan is quoted as saying.

Named for the former U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield, the center officially opened in 1965 on Yaquina Bay and today serves as the university’s marine lab and center for oceanographic research. Housing options at the center are limited and worse for wear. The center is also located in Newport’s tsunami inundation zone meaning it would likely be affected by a major tsunami.

The new housing is located on a 5-acre parcel three-quarters of a mile from Hatfield on Southeast 40th Street in south Newport — outside the tsunami inundation zone. Five of the units will be two-bedroom apartments that can accommodate short and long stays. The rest will be studio-style living spaces for upper-level and graduate students, staff and faculty working out of the Hatfield center.

The architect is Mackenzie Inc. The general contractor is O’Brien & Lucas Ventures. The project could open by fall 2025, according to the university’s statement.

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