The Ovation mixed-use development underway in downtown Newport received a major boost Thursday when the Newport City Commission approved $660 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds for the project.
"Ovation is an exciting and monumental project that will forever change our city and enhance Newport as a hub of entertainment, business and first-class urban living," said Newport City Manager Tom Fromme. "It’s a big win for the City, it will allow for the continued progress on the Ovation."
Ovation is a 25-acre mixed-used development covering nearly five city blocks at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers being developed by Covington-based Corporex, which will use the bond proceeds for construction costs.
Often used by Newport and other local governments as an economic development tool, Industrial Revenue Bonds permit cities to provide funding for economic development projects without being responsible for repaying the bonds.
“The action taken by the City of Newport will allow us to continue the incredible momentum that is taking place at Ovation,” said Thomas Banta, Managing Director of Corporex Companies. “We appreciate the continued, strong support we receive from Newport’s Mayor, Commission and staff. A complex undertaking like the mixed-use Ovation Development would not be possible, otherwise.”
Corporex plans to invest more than $180 million dollars in Ovation over the next 18 months. The $53 million Phase II consists of a 132-room Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel- which will feature a rooftop bar - and a 100,000-square-foot Class A office building featuring plaza-level retail.
Corporex also recently broke ground on Phase III of Ovation, which includes structured parking, for sale and for rent residential units, retail, entertainment, and an amenity club. Phase III is located across the street from PromoWest Pavilion at Ovation and connects to the concert venue by a pedestrian walkway above West Third Street.
The first step of Phase III was raising the levee wall, which is currently under construction. Corporex is working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to utilize leading-edge engineering principles and materials to attach the current earthen wall to the levee, connecting Ovation directly to the riverfront.