UNION, Ky. — Union Mayor Larry Solomon said his city was a "bedroom community" just a few years ago. Now, it has become Boone County's fastest-growing city, with a 39% increase in population compared to 2010.
City leaders anticipate the population will continue to rise due in large part to several major developments. Solomon said he's most excited for three developments, all of which are currently taking place: the Union Promenade, the Grammas Center and Union Town Center.
"This year, you'll see a lot of earth being moved," Solomon said.
The Union Promenade will be located on U.S. 42 directly across from the Kroger Marketplace. There will be 50 single-family homes, 300 multi-family apartments and 13 outlet buildings for retail and restaurants. Last week, Cincinnati Children's also announced a $10 million medical facility.
That development is set to be completed in 2026, but some of the project will be open to the public by 2023.
Mayor Solomon said he's excited for Union homeowners who will soon have easier access to goods and services within the city. He said many residents choose to drive to nearby cities like Florence and Covington.
"With the growth that we're having and the initiatives we're putting together, (residents) don't have to go to those places now," he said. "They can stay in Union, have high-end restaurants and have goods and services right here in Union."
Driving further south on U.S. 42, the Grammas Center is primed for development. Renderings show more than 31,000 sq. ft. of retail space, along with 176 apartments. It is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
“We used to have to go out and look for developers. Now we don’t have to look for anyone," Solomon said. "They come to us."
The city recently purchased a plot of land across from the future Grammas Center development on U.S. 42 for $4 million. That plot of land is earmarked for the future home of the Union Town Center.
“We’ve tried to find the best location for the city that gives us enough space. Since we’re growing as fast as we’re growing, we had to purchase that land," Solomon said. "One of two things could’ve happened. One, it won’t be there next year. Two, it would be so high price we couldn’t afford it. With our relationship with the Grammas’ we were able to broker a deal with them. To get the new town center land at a really good price."
The town center will feature a park at the heart of the development, along with a city building and local retailers and restaurants.
"That’ll be the focal point of the town center," the mayor said. "It’ll be surrounded by a lot of parks and recreation — a place where people can gather. That’s what the people of Union have wanted for years. We’re fulfilling that promise to them.”
Solomon said he believes Union's population will grow to more than 10,000 people over the next four years. He said his administration is prepared for that growth.
“You have two choices. You can manage growth, or it can manage you," Solomon said. "For the past eight years, this administration has been managing growth — strategically managing growth. I think we’ve done a doggone good job of it.
"We want to sit back when it’s all done, look at it and go, 'Wow, look at what we’ve done.'"
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