Thursday, August 27, 2015
Following a booming 2014 that ended with 67 new businesses, 500 additional jobs and tens of millions of dollars in private and public investment coming to Newport, the city is continuing to attract economic development at a brisk pace, Newport City Manager Tom Fromme said Wednesday.
During his annual City of Newport Update, delivered during the Newport Business Association monthly, Fromme said that since 2006 Newport has seen an estimated $200 million in commercial development, including the opening of the hugely successful Kroger-anchored Newport Pavilion shopping center.
But the city is just as excited about the future, Fromme stressed in his remarks.
“Some would be satisifed with all the investment that has taken place, and while we are thankful, we are not complacent,” said Fromme, a Newport native who rose through the ranks of the city’s police department to become chief before being named city manager eight years ago.
“We are encouraged and excited about the residential, commercial, business and infrastucture projects that are planned to be completed or get underway later this year and into 2016,” Fromme said. “Newport will continue to be a great place for people to come to visit, work, live and play.”
In 2014, completed projects included The Riff Distillery, The St. Elizabeth Medical Building, Carothers Road reconstruction project, Grand Avenue median beautifiction projects, and the Monmouth Row apartments in downtown Newport. XPO Logistics joined the growing list of businesses located in One Riverfront Place.
During 2015, several projects broke ground or were announced, including:
•The $80 million Aqua on the Levee, which features 238 apartments, a 144-room Aloft Hotel and 800 parking spaces being developed by Capital Investment Group and Musselman Hotels.
•Conssruction on the KY 9 Extension, which will connect downtown Newport and its riverfront with Interstate 275 and the AA Highway and spur new residential and commercial development on the city’s west side. This project will also be a catalyyst for the redevelopment of the former Newport Steel site.
•The opening of a new walking and biking path that is part of Riverfront Commons, a 12-mile pedestrian corridor being developed by Southbank Partners, Newport and Northern Kentucky’s Ohio River cities.
•The development of Taylor Creek Overlook Park along the Newprort riverfront.
•A 180-foot SkyWheel at Newport on the Levee.
•A Hampton Inn & Suites hotel at the site of the former Travel Lodge motel.
•New apartments announced for the Fourth Street Elementary School site.
•New businesses opening at Newport Pavilion, Newport on the Levee, along Monmouth Street and in other locations around the city.
Accomplishments made by The Newport City Commission and Administration included new street signs, paying down the city’s debt, improving parking in the city’s business districts, purchasing a new public works facility and completing the draft of a new comprehenstive plan.
Goals for the future include increased parking, new sidewalks, tree plantings, riverfront improvements, reducing debt, attracting more busiensses and improving Monmouth Street.
Fromme attributed the city’s success and optimistic outlook to an active and engaged business community, Newport’s location at the heart of the region and the dedication of the city commissioners, staff and employees.
“Like we keep saying,” Fromme added, “'so much is happening in Newport now!'”
About the Newport Business Association
The Newport Business Association serves the local businesses through its problem-solving forum, unified voice to policy makers, and through its member support, education and networking.