Research institute finally has new home near UO

Decade-long quest comes to end for Oregon nonprofit

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EUGENE, Ore. — The Oregon Research Institute in Eugene has settled into a new headquarters after a decade-long quest.

The nonprofit behavioral research firm and its roughly 200 employees have moved into a $17 million, four-story building at Riverfront Research Park, the Register-Guard reported.

"Finding a new home has been a long and sometimes difficult process, and we've faced years of uncertainty regarding the cost and physical location of our new headquarters," said ORI Administrative Director Byron Glidden. "It is a relief to finally have achieved our goal."

The institute looked into several properties before choosing the Riverfront Research Park five years ago. But the firm and its developer, Dallas, Texas-based Trammel Crow, became embroiled in a land-use dispute with University of Oregon faculty, students and activists over the proposed development site, near the Eugene Water and Electric Board property and the Willamette River.

The developer agreed in 2011 to use the present site between two existing buildings farther from the river. The office was constructed in the past year.

The institute, founded in Eugene 53 years ago, conducts behavioral studies funded mainly by the federal National Institutes of Health. ORI's research staff investigates issues, including depression, behavior problems among children, smoking and drug cessation and healthy lifestyles.

The institute leases a little more than 59,000 square feet. About 10,000 square feet is leased to the Educational Policy Improvement Center, a UO College of Education spinoff.

"ORI really wanted a new home to persuade other researchers to come and do work with us," facilities manager Dan Hoechlin told the newspaper.