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Newport, KY: Ovation

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/39017545@N02/5889234289/#sizes/o/in/photostream/

 

Here's a link to a massive photo by someone else that shows the billboard. Although now being able to look at it more closely it isn't quite what I thought it was, it's still different from any of the released images, but only in slight ways. Still, it is interesting that the current billboard features a rendering not previously shown elsewhere.

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I actually am quite confused by the desired scale of this development. While I understand that the views are important and all that, there's already The Banks, and Covington's downtown as well as a lot of the development down both shores of the river that are vying for that segment of the market. It would seem that filling the entire site with 4-5 story buildings, either apartment buildings, row homes, or detached homes on small lots would make a lot of sense while still offering a lot of density that could support a small business district within the development.

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soooo anybody know whats going on with this?

 

Corporex/Butler lost The Baldwin Complex to bankruptcy and the Rivercenter buildings are about 50% vacant so he might lose those.

He likes to refinance, put money in his pocket, and be highly leveraged. I think financing for Ovation will be difficult at least as originally outlined.

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Ovation should be redone as dense mid-low residential with a few mid rise, wide floor plan office buildings between 4th & 5th. 

 

A smaller denser version of Denver's Stapleton. Is it as sexy as Ovation? No. But it brings in wealth & economic stability into NKY's core in a walkable way (Not a high rise that has no street presence a la Southshore). Plus, our region can only have so many high rise office buildings. Vacancy downtown is still high and rents are low. Covington is mostly empty. 

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Newport prepares for road, first buildings on Ovation site

 

NEWPORT – Buildings might soon come out of the ground on the long dormant Ovation site in Newport about nine years after the project was first announced.

 

The state of Kentucky in the spring will start construction of the extension of Ky. 9/AA Highway into Newport, a road that developer Corporex has said was necessary before starting the $1 billion commercial and residential Ovation project.

 

Newport City Commission on Monday night granted an easement to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet near the Taylor-Southgate Bridge.

 

Cont


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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Does anybody know more details about the proposed design/alignment of this road project? Is it going to follow Central Ave or is it an entirely new road along the Licking? How/where is it going to connect to the Taylor-Southgate Bridge?

 

 

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I found this on the Southbank Partners website from 2011, though I don't know if this is up-to-date: http://www.southbankpartners.com/Portals/southbankpartners/Documents/Projects/KY%209%20MAP%20CAMPBELL%20CO.pdf

 

The alignment/design seems to match what was described in the Enquirer article. The roundabout at 5th/Isabella seems unnecessarily large and over-engineered. I think they could shrink the radius, which would slow traffic while still allowing for trucks to navigate the intersection. But I'm no traffic engineer...

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This road project feels a lot like "urban renewal" and not an actual transit project. The route chosen seems placed on purpose to force the demolition of as many public housing buildings as possible (vs a route that would line up with 6th and Isabella).

I also think that 6200 parking spaces is ridiculous and a deal with southbank shuttle rerouting or finishing the loop between Newport and Covington along the 4th street bridge needs to be considered to help reduce that number. That's nearly one parking space for every two people in the city of Newport, not to mention the enormous parking garages at the levee and across the river at the banks.

All that being said I hope this spurs the development of this looooong delayed project (especially the residential portions).

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The public housing was demolished to make way for Ovation in 2006 (http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=1436.20;wap2), not for the roadway it seems. It seems that the end goal was to spread the income throughout the city and not concentrate public housing in one location, to which there are some decent public structures in the city that are a step above what was once housed at what will be Ovation.

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That picture is exactly what they are building.

 

The road will take out the public housing on the other side of the street and conveniently the KOI that resisted being purchased for the Ovation project.

 

However the silver lining of the whole project is that Monmoth Street can be two-ways again.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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They won't get financed for that much of a portion of office space. Butler gave the Baldwin Complex back to the lender last year and he is

ready to lose Rivercenter also. Would not be surprised to see that get into the courts. But he does make $$$ refinancing these projects.

Dan Neyer should just follow his bread crumbs.

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Nice. Monmouth is already ready to go, infrastructure wise, to be two-way. I was wondering what the hold up was.

 

They've had traffic light poles installed on the "other side" of Monmouth street for years, but I hadn't heard anything was officially planned.  That is welcome news.

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KyleCincy, where did you hear Corporex was going to lose RiverCenter?  Was it written/hinted somewhere or is just rumor?  Just curious.

 

Nothing in print for sure, but lots of rumors in the industry. Corporex has developed some great locations and buildings, but they seem

to be highly leveraged all of the time. No room for error or losing a certain % of tenants/leases.

 

Rivercenter 1, 300,000 RSF, 120,000 vacant

Rivercenter 2, 250,000 RSF, 150,000 vacant (100,000 is for sublease but that ends in 1 year)

Madison Place, 290,000 RSF, 290,000 vacant

 

Years ago Humana was in Grand Baldwin, and growing so Corporex built the single user Humana building across the street for them.

So you didn't lose them, but the Grand B LLC certainly did.

 

 

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Corporex looking for help to build Ovation

Scott Wartman, swartman@nky.com 6:42 a.m. EDT March 19, 2015

 

 

Developer Bill Butler thinks retailers undervalue urban areas in Northern Kentucky.

 

This includes the 13-acres his Corporex company owns at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers in Newport. During a high-profile, 2006 press conference, officials hailed Ovation as a residential and commercial development where residents could live, work and play. Yet, nine years later not much else has happened. The former site of a public housing complex that was razed to make way for Ovation is now a field of grass and weeds in the middle of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky urban landscape.

 

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/03/18/corporex-looking-outside-help-build-ovation-site/24986265/

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Uh huh.

 

I'm picturing many scale reductions, scope reductions, etc. and a final product made up of zero highrises and many smaller, 2-5 story buildings. Not bad, but also not super exciting based on all the concept work we've seen from this site.

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I don't understand the 6,200 parking spaces.

 

Anyone with me on project a few blocks east they recently finished with more of a historic architecture, I can't remember the name of it.  Those actually look pretty decent.  Why not build a neighborhood like that.  That would be very attractive IMO.  Paint them different types of colors, etc.

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I think they should go for something more modern and reflective of the qualities of architecture in 2015. The context is nonexistent so why not use this as an opportunity to introduce something new? No need to create a knock-off of something from another era.

 

Ovation is separated from anything historic in every single direction and should be an example of modern urbanism.

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I hear you on that.  In my mind I just figure, hey it will work, so why not!  But if they can come up with some nice, new modern designs, that would be nice as well!

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I don't think the design with the white towers is the current one. That was discarded and replaced with a different design that used to be displayed on their billboard that's now gone. It was more inline with what we'd want out of an urban neighborhood it seemed.

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I don't understand the 6,200 parking spaces.

 

Anyone with me on project a few blocks east they recently finished with more of a historic architecture, I can't remember the name of it.  Those actually look pretty decent.  Why not build a neighborhood like that.  That would be very attractive IMO.  Paint them different types of colors, etc.

 

6,200 parking spaces would be just under the amount of public parking available at the Banks parking garages when it is fully built out!


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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^I'm guessing that is intended as "events parking", rather than demand from within Newport itself.  Corporex is probably using the Labor Day fireworks demand, then factoring backward from there.  If this is completed, I'd love to see a tally of the number of garage spaces in a half mile radius around Great American Ballpark.

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I didn't know that part of this project included connecting Kentucky 9 with the Taylor Southgate bridge.  I've recently had some clients in NKY so I've been learning more about the area.  I tried taking KY9 as far north as possible, and it just kind of terminates abruptly into a run-down section of Newport, forcing heavy traffic to be diverted through neighborhood streets in Newport.  It goes from essentially a rural feeling to the middle of an urban neighborhood almost instantly...very strange.  Connecting to the riverfront seems like it would remove some of the traffic off residential streets, and also ease travel times from parts of NKY to Cincinnati.

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What traffic?  KY 9 is already a needlessly large road.  I bike on it with some frequency between Newport and I-275 on my way out to the unspoiled countryside and there simply aren't many cars on it.  It was fine as a 2-lane road but they couldn't resist the temptation to widen it.

 

The whole problem with ovation is that it has bad interstate highway access.  If you don't like that, don't live there.  But I bet much of this is motivated by concerns from the banks that would finance this mega-development.  They probably are withholding their $'s until these road improvements aren't just planned and funded but actually built.  Butler is of course getting these multi-million roads built for free. 

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Ok, admittedly the amount of traffic isn't that huge, but it is still a huge and drastic drop off from a highway-esque road to a neighborhood street.  I agree that the road is needlessly wide, but doesn't it essentially turn into the AA highway?  Either way, connecting KY9 to the riverfront makes sense, IMO.

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^ But then you're just dumped from the "highway-esque" road to the neighborhood streets further in.  When a highway reaches a built-up area, a neighborhood, a "place" where people live, work, and play, they SHOULD become neighborhood streets with parked cars, stop signs, sidewalks, bikers, etc.  It's these "stroads" (street-road hybrids) that are the most dangerous because they take highway geometries and design criteria and overlay them onto streets with many intersections and where people cross and buildings affront, and that's what causes crashes and deaths.  By continuing the highway through the neighborhood it sends the signal "keep driving fast" when the message should be "slow down and pay attention to your surroundings."  It's not a rural location anymore, so rural highway design is wholly inappropriate.

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KY 9 hugs the Licking River, passes under I-275, then heads up the hill to US 27 and becomes the AA Highway.  The gigantic 27/AA cloverleaf seems incredibly overblown, since the AA devolves into a Super 2, then just a marked local road about ten miles southeast.  The AA Highway has spurred zero development, and you could always get to Ashland on Ohio's 52 which was upgraded to a divided 4-lane a decade or two earlier.  The whole thing is pork.  The fact that so many reading this will be unfamiliar with where I'm talking about is because there is such a comically small amount of traffic on the AA.  There's probably less on the AA than on US 27 in that area. 

 

Again, this extension of KY 9 into Newport is about creating a continuous upgraded road from Ovation to I-75 via the recently widened 12th St. in Covington. 

 

 

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KY 9 hugs the Licking River, passes under I-275, then heads up the hill to US 27 and becomes the AA Highway.  The gigantic 27/AA cloverleaf seems incredibly overblown, since the AA devolves into a Super 2, then just a marked local road about ten miles southeast.  The AA Highway has spurred zero development, and you could always get to Ashland on Ohio's 52 which was upgraded to a divided 4-lane a decade or two earlier.  The whole thing is pork.  The fact that so many reading this will be unfamiliar with where I'm talking about is because there is such a comically small amount of traffic on the AA.  There's probably less on the AA than on US 27 in that area. 

 

Again, this extension of KY 9 into Newport is about creating a continuous upgraded road from Ovation to I-75 via the recently widened 12th St. in Covington. 

 

 

 

I still can't believe the 12th street project got through without scrutiny, I thought this was the 2010s not the 1950s.

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