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Friday, March 19, 2021

EXCLUSIVE: More Changes Underway at Newport on the Levee

Rendering of river side view of Newport on the Levee project features possible store fronts and a promenade leading into the Gallery Building.

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With a Grand Opening planned for Memorial Day weekend, crews are busy at Newport on the Levee.

RELATED: Here's What Newport on the Levee Will Look Like After Renovations

At present, the entire promenade between the Gallery Building and the Bridgeview Box Park is barricaded and ripped up. Crews are completely redoing the space with new landscaping, pavers, tiles. The plaza itself will become part of the communal space and more connected to everything around it.

"The entire treatment of the space is no longer transitional. It’s no longer just a place where you walk from one place to another," said Tim Perry, managing partner for developer North American Properties.

For those who have been to the Levee in the past, they will remember the cavernous and dark Gallery Building with the AMC Theater ticket booth in the middle, a coffee shop and not much else.

Perry said the plan for that space has been to open it up even more, remove the ticket booth and coffee shop to create an open space. "We’ll have a lot of soft seating, communal areas where you can sit on a couch, have a drink with friends or coworkers. We now have office spaces there."

The developer has added two 16 by 22 LED screens on the property, one in the outdoor space in the plaza and the box park and one located inside the Gallery Building that can be available for events, news and parties, with a nod towards our region’s not-always-sunny weather.

The building is also home to Trade™, a rotating group of 12 new and upcoming vendors along with four permanent retail spaces.

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: North American Properties Continues Plans to Be "Newport's Living Room"

Praise for Newport and other river cities

Rendering shows expanse of Bridgeview Box Park and the entire Newport on the Levee project view from the river.

Perry said he sees the Levee project as part of an overall effort to build and enhance community along the river by the city of Newport and other cities along its banks.

"Everything the city is doing with Festival Park, all the investment that has gone on with Ovation and the Academy Apartments, and with Aqua next door, which came before us, it’s all continued to create community along the river."

All that’s going on around the project has been exciting, said Perry. He is seeing things built up along the river that goes all the way from the Licking River out to Dayton and beyond. 

The changes at the Levee project will tie it in with all the development along the river to create a welcoming and exciting environment. Never is that more clear, he said, than when one approaches from across the river. 

"I walked this morning over the pedestrian bridge, dragging my suitcase, and it was a beautiful walk. Looking at the property, just the whole time I was thinking about what a special and unique place it is," he said.

He’s been studying the idea of city trails, he said. "If you look at great cities with great trail systems there’s a point where the trail system starts as a recreational item, a place to walk your dog, but at a certain becomes a transit system, no longer just recreational, it’s truly pedestrian transit...We are right there at the brink of this, and I’m super excited about how the entire system is going to interface with the property."

Welcoming the community back

As for the property itself, Perry said he is eager to show it off and for the community to make the space its own. Despite the challenges of the past year, he said, "We always knew we were going to emerge from this, that people being isolated at home was not a sustainable societal model and eventually we all want to come back out."

Newport on the Levee will be ready when they do.

For more, see the Newport on the Levee website, which includes a live cam and updates for the space. Perry said major renovations and construction is scheduled to be complete for the Grand Opening on Memorial Day weekend. Build outs and renovations for individual tenants will continue throughout the rest of the year.

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