OPINION EDITORIAL on Explosive Growth in Newport by Representative Dennis Keene
Frankfort, KY—I recently attended the monthly meeting of the Newport Business Council and left excited and optimistic about the projects on tap along the riverfront area in Campbell County. When I secured the $42 million needed to build the Route 9 Connector several years ago, we knew it would lead to re-development and growth. But none of us had ever dreamed of the scale and quantity of new projects coming to our urban core.
The Business Council presentation was conducted by five developers outlining the major commercial, residential and entertainment projects that are ready to begin in the coming months.
First, the nearly $1 billion Ovation project is massive in scale and is beginning with a concert venue that faces the Newport on the Levee area. In addition to entertainment, the project includes office, hotel, residential and retail spaces. Over 15 buildings are planned for the site that sits adjacent to the Licking River, across from Covington in Kenton County.
Next, we learned about the World Peace Bell development, which will encompass the parking lot and office building currently on the site. The Peace Bell will remain, and the project will include a parking garage, seven-story Home2Suites by Hilton and an office/retail building.
Another exciting project is the Academy on 4th residential and commercial development on the site of the former Southgate School. This building will provide 202 apartments with an open courtyard design, providing outdoor living space for residents along with retail space on the first floor. The project is already well under construction and will be completed by the end of the year.
Skypoint Luxury Condos is another 45-unit residential project that will offer stunning views to residents atop a hillside in Newport. The development looks overtop of downtown Newport and will include a rooftop lounge, swimming pools and fitness center.
And finally, the Newport Skywheel is a $15 million development that is officially moving forward, providing another entertainment attraction for families along the Newport riverfront. The Skywheel will be 235 feet high and will include a colorful display of lights at nighttime.
New owners of Newport on Levee is planning to spend over $100 million on renovations that integrate the Levee with the surrounding new developments. Stay tuned for more announcements on the Levee projects.
Newport is a city of approximately 15,000 residents and has become a beacon of development and growth for Campbell County and Northern Kentucky.