NEWPORT, Ky. — Officials got their latest glimpse this week into the future of Newport on the Levee and the city's riverfront on Friday.
The Newport Business Association met to highlight development plans for the shopping and entertainment center perched along the Newport floodwall and the nearby, decade-in-the-making Ovation development site.
Business association president Mark Ramler called it "such a good thing for the city."
"We have a great housing stock here, but we don't have all the amenities that Cincinnati has," Ramler told WCPO. "This is kind of bringing it up to that level, which is really exciting."
A new look is in the works for the Levee, with a new plaza, a turfed area, seating and a kids' area. Lexington, Kentucky-based West Sixth Brewing Company has signed on to operate in the Bridgeview Box Park, along with several other new food and drink options. Two new restaurants will go into the former Barnes and Noble space.
And there are even plans for the Kentucky Derby.
"The large LED screen above Sweet Dreams, we'll have that for the Kentucky Derby party on Saturday. Really excited about that," a Levee official said at a meeting earlier this week.
A bit further west, construction of the city's new concert venue at the Ovation site is taking shape.
"We're expecting our first concert to be here in September," said Eric Buck, an official with Corporex -- the firm developing the Ovation site.
Beyond the venue, though, construction is expected to start this summer on a five-story office building and a 124-room Homewood Suites Hotel, along with a rooftop bar.
Ramler said these developments couldn't be happening at a better time.
"It's really good for the existing businesses, as well," Ramler said. "Adding all this increases traffic to existing bars and restaurants, draws more people."