Embattled Portland Aquarium closes; building being demolished

Portland Aquarium

The Portland Aquarium will close Monday after a little more than four years, which have been riddled with controversy.

The aquarium's building on SE McLoughlin Boulevard in Milwaukie is set to be demolished this year, and a new location has not yet been determined.

Owners say they are considering local malls as a "viable target."

In the meantime, all animals are being relocated to other aquariums across the country.

"We loved transforming a steakhouse into an interactive aquarium, but we knew we would eventually outgrow this facility," founder Vince Covino said late last year after announcing the closure. "We also knew going into it the risk that this building might sell due to the high value of large lot on a busy thoroughfare. Our next Portland location will at least twice this size, and in a more fitting destination area. We're excited about the future in Portland, though we will be more patient in finding the right location next time."

The aquarium was not accredited and functioned on a for-profit basis.

One of the original owners of the aquarium was arrested in 2013 for illegally harvesting marine animals. The Oregonian reported 200 marine animal deaths at the facility the same year.

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