Aquarium Village was first constructed under the name Newport Industrial Park in the 1970s for warehousing for fishermen and their gear. No blueprints were used, just drawings on butcher paper.
Painted the entire complex blue
Started painting interiors of units
Third and current owners and Yaquina Bay Development (YBD) was born.
YBD included what is now Aquarium Village and Newport Business Plaza West (what we call the Annex).
Nessie the Crown Lizard (Kronosaurus Queenslandicus) became the official mascot,
representing the park in the Loyalty Days Parade.
The conversion of gear sheds to retail store fronts and artist studios began under John Tharp, Facilities Manager. His idea was to capitalize on the tourist influx created by the arrival of Keiko the Whale at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
“Wally the Walrus” and “Orca the Whale”
joined Nessie as part of the Village’s menagerie of full time residents.
A 7,000 pound fiberglass and foam pirate ship, “The Brigantine,” was dismantled
at the River Palms Casino in Laughlin, Nevada and trucked to Aquarium Village where is was put back together again. It is currently housed in “Yo Ho Ho Indoor Bounce.”
Three rows of mini-units were demolished to make space for a 6,000 sq ft event center
now named “Studio 150.” Some of events held in this venue include a bridal faire, jazz festival, Marine Corps Ball, Newport High School All Night Grad, flea market, quinceaneras, weddings,
and most recently, a charity benefit put on by Salon Ethos.
In Recent History
Aquarium Village began adding nautical cutouts by tenant and local artist
Jac Genovese to allow interaction visitor interaction with the ever-growing theme of a “must see” Newport destination.
2010 & 2012:
Retail boulevard was used as background for a Disney music video
and for a Pacific Northwest Tourism web broadcast.
Four northmost warehouses transferred ownership to the Oregon Coast Aquarium
for their expansion in exchange for financing the construction of what is known as Newport Business Plaza East.
The business names “Aquarium Village” and “Newport Business Plaza” officially replaced the name “Newport Industrial Park.”