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New riverfront developments coming to Newport

Aqua on the Levee is nearing completion


A number of new developments along the Newport side of the Ohio riverfront could mean exciting changes for Greater Cincinnati. Projects include a bikeway/walkway, widening of a major thoroughfare, new housing options and commercial space and a tourist attraction.

“It’s a great year for development for the city,” says Greg Tulley, development services director for the City of Newport. “There’s a lot of interest in the area, and you’re going to see a lot more projects coming up."

Soapbox rounded up five of the new projects that will continue to shape the future of the region.
 
Riverfront Commons
Southbank Partners is currently developing an 11-mile bikeway/walkway that will extend along the Ohio riverfront to connect Dayton, Bellevue, Newport, Covington and Ludlow. The project experienced a set-back in April when Gov. Matt Bevin struck down $300,000 in potential state funding, but portions of the trail in Ludlow, Dayton and Covington are slated to move forward without state funding.
 
KY Rt. 9 (AA) Highway
Construction is underway on the $38 million expansion of Kentucky Route 9, commonly called the AA Highway. This 1.5-mile expansion will ease traffic patterns, starting near the Licking Valley Girl Scout Bridge at 11th Street, running parallel to the Licking River past the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge at Fourth Street, then east to the foot of the Taylor-Southgate Bridge. The new road will provide improved access to the Newport riverfront area and will feature dedicated bike lanes.
 
Ovation
This mixed-use development by real estate company Corporex will be situated at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers near the Taylor-Southgate Bridge. Once completed, the $1 billion development will include 108 townhomes, 726 condos, 192 senior housing units, 1.2 million square feet of office, 300,000 square feet of retail space, a 3,000-seat showroom, two hotels and 6,200 parking spaces.

The project was first announced in 2006 but has been stalled awaiting the completion of the AA Highway expansion that goes through the site. Completion of the new highway “will do a lot to jumpstart the Ovation property,” Tulley says.
 
Skywheel
St. Louis-based Koch Development has proposed a new Ferris wheel attraction for Newport on the Levee. The $10 million project will rise 235 feet above the Ohio River, offering sweeping views of the Cincinnati skyline.

The proposed wheel is currently pending approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that manages the Ohio River flood system. Because the wheel would be built atop Newport’s earthen levee, the Army Corps must evaluate the structural integrity to ensure that the safety of the levee system is maintained. If approved, the project is expected to be completed by summer 2017.
 
Aqua on the Levee
Cincinnati-based Capital Investment Group Inc., whose other Newport projects include SouthShore Condominiums and The Vue 180 apartment complex, is nearing completion on the $80 million Aqua on the Levee. The development is directly adjacent to Newport on the Levee and features 238 luxury apartments that face the Ohio River.

In addition to new apartments, the mixed-use development will feature 8,300 square feet of retail space along East Third Street and an 800-space parking garage. The development also includes a new Starwood A-loft Hotel on the corner of East Third and Washington Avenue, which is being developed and managed by Louisville-based Musselman Hotels.
 

Read more articles by Kamal Kimball.

Kamal Kimball is a freelance writer and co-founder of Ampersand Creative Services.
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