|The Bridgeview Box Park at Newport on the Levee will take full advantage of riverfront views.|
By Robin Gee
Work has already begun preparing the plaza near Newport Aquarium for the new Bridgeview Box Park project announced this week by North American Properties (NAP). The plan is to move as quickly as possible to be prepared as guidelines for limited reopening of businesses across the state unfolds.
With five businesses already signed up to occupy the shipping-crate-like boxes and food truck on the plaza, the plan is to open later this summer, if all goes well. Even painting of an art mural planned as a focal point of the site will begin, weather permitting, as early as next week.
|Shipping-container-like boxes are already onsite for the new Bridgeview Box Park at Newport on the Levee.|
The company purchased the 380,000-square-foot property known as Newport on the Levee in 2018. Company officials formed a COVID response team to look at ongoing renovations and improvements happening at the site with an eye toward flexibility under the changing guidelines as well as future development.
North American Properties has done an excellent job at adapting to changing retail market conditions since they first purchased the property, said Newport City Manager Thomas Fromme.
"North American Properties brought some exciting ideas for the site from the start, because they had that background [in retail]. This seems a continuation of the vision they brought with them," he said. He added that having the owners be local, along with that expertise, has been key.
"What I’m excited about is they [NAP] have not stopped thinking, planning and working on what the Levee should be."
With so many changes in the market as well as the current situation, it seems the company has had to reinvent the site as it moves forward, yet, you can also see there is great deal of thought behind each move they’ve taken, Fromme said.
The box park will take full advantage of one of the area’s greatest assets, the riverfront itself, he said. "The views will be unobstructed. I don’t think you can go wrong with that. It will provide something everyone can enjoy."
|Preparation is underway for restaurants and retail set to occupy "boxes" now being set up on the plaza next to the Newport Aquarium at Newport on the Levee.|