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Newport, KY: Newport on the Levee: Development and News

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From the 7/16/05 Enquirer:

 

 

Repo man gets Imax projector

By Cliff Peale

Enquirer staff writer

 

NEWPORT - After trying for several years to collect back payments for its $2 million projector from the closed Imax theater, Imax Corp. took matters into its own hands early Friday.

 

A crane lifted the 1,300-pound projector out of the building at the Newport on the Levee complex.

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This is totally based on my gut feeling but I believe Newport On the Levee is the most ineptly run business on that side of the river. Just last year it was voted by Zagats as one of the top family destination in the country but it sits at maybe 50-60% occupancy? How can you be that successful and have that much empty space sitting around? I also think the retail mix is horrendus. Aside, from Barnes and Nobles, there's nothing to draw anyone over the age of 18. I go to see movies and then leave. Finally, when I was by yesterday I noticed Bamboo Club was closed. That leaves two of their three southside corners totally vacant (no Imax and no Bamboo Club)

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Bamboo Club closed?  Damn...that place was really good.  I had bad service in there once - excessively long wait for dinner - but they comped us just about everything that night.  I'd been there probably a half a dozen times, and never got a bum meal.  It often seemed just packed...damn...

 

Anyone have any alternatives for Pacific Rim cuisine?

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I couldn't beleive we don't have an ongoing,  catch all  "Newport on the Levee" thread.  Instead of creating a new topic just on the following article, I've kept the topic generic.

 

Levee Rocks On

 

By Sonya Thielmann

For The Sunday Challenger

feedback@challengernky.com

 

 

4 Years Old; Some Stores Struggle

 

NEWPORT - In the four years since opening, Newport on the Levee has been a catalyst for the redevelopment of the city and the riverfront. With new condominiums, housing rehabilitation and a new park being planned nearby, the Levee continues to pull in crowds.

 

But for Levee tenants, just how successful the development has been depends on what business you're in.

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"Every center/commercial property experiences closings," she said. "Leases have termination options and expiration dates. This is standard in the real estate industry and certainly not unique to Newport on the Levee."

 

Codeword for: we are going to be another Forest Fair Mall

 

Many factors can affect the numbers, like whether the Reds or Bengals are doing well, but overall, Garrett said he's been happy to be in the Levee and thinks it's a good location.

 

The Bengals winning may not keep down crime, but it keeps business in Kentucky!

 

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Is it standard in the retail industry to be ranked as a top mall yet have a 25% vacancy?  I stand by my belief that the Levee is not being run by competent managers.  How else can you have the attendance numbers that place has and have an almost empty second floor?

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I mentioned this years ago in another thread about the NOTL, socially it is great, Thursday through Sat. nights, especially for the restaurants.  But the owner has been trying to unload it for years already as it is a financial loser due to most of it being empty.  Most of the empty spots though are not easily seen by most of the foot traffic, probably one of the place's problems.

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I am surprised by the vacancy's too.  Everytime I go there, it is slammed with people.  You can barely walk around the Barnes & Nobles area from the mass amount of people.

 

I bet most of the vacancies are on the second floor of that "mall" area where AMC and Gameworks are located. I been to NOTL several times, and never bothered to go to the second level. Like you say, the main area around B&N is always congested with people.

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The place was always hopping when i was there.  I usually went for those events they where having down at the river, so the NOTL was not the 'destination' per se, but I did notice how crowded and busy it was on that main "plaza" level.

 

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It's just my opinion, but I don't think people think of NOTL as a shopping area at all.  It's an entertainment complex.  NOTL is in a catch 22 currently, as there isn't enough retail room there for it to reach mall status, and the number of people coming to actually shop there isn't high enough to warrent an expansion.  Oddly enough, I think if there was more room for retail in the levee (if they ever build phase II) then the empty spots would fill. 

 

Additionally, the exit off of south 471 to the levee is horrendous.  I would be more willing to go there if I knew I wasn't going to be sitting in traffic for 20 minutes once I get into Kentucky.

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I just read in the Cincinnati Business Courier that NOTL will try to lease a portion of its space as office use.  I understand it from a business standpoint, but it smacks of desperation from a retail point of view.  I mean, if it has not leased up yet with retail, I doubt it ever will, be it a design flaw or tenant mix problem. 

 

I will post the article when it comes out online tomorrow.

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Levee pushing space for offices

Newport entertainment venue trying new tack after three tenants leave

Lisa Biank Fasig

Staff Reporter

 

Newport on the Levee, which in the past few months has lost three major tenants, has hired a real estate firm to lease out its mezzanine level for office space, with hopes of attracting as many as six businesses and thousands of captive consumers.

 

Joe Gilligan, senior vice president at Carey Laumer Commercial Realty, said the firm is in advanced talks with one prospective tenant and is showing large blocks of space to two others. The mezzanine, a 48,000-square-foot space that once housed the Empire Club, includes several large rooms and a balcony, where a bar once operated.

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4 years later, Newport on the Levee looks for right mix

Newport on the Levee has lost major tenants since June

 

By Mike Boyer

Enquirer staff writer

 

NEWPORT - Newport on the Levee marks its fourth anniversary this fall still struggling to find the right mix of stores, restaurants and businesses to become a market-dominant retail and entertainment destination for the region.

 

The $210 million complex on Newport's riverfront has never had an occupancy rate above 83 percent, and the departure of three major tenants since June has left a hole in its retail hull. In addition, the former IMAX theater has sat dark since June 2003.

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Fat Fish Blue closed because the food there was just nasty.

 

I ate at the Bamboo Club there once and thought it was an over-priced PF Changs.  Not surprised it has closed.

 

Where's the closest mall to Newport?  You would think that the population of Newport and Covington could support a mall, but the parking situation is just bad.

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Complex hasn't paid its tab

Post staff report

 

Newport on the Levee has the look of success.

 

Its multi-screen movie theater packs the house. Its restaurants typically have waits for seating. Its aquarium keeps adding attractions, from penguins to green-naped lorikeets. Its bookstore draws a throng of browsers and buyers.

 

But since the Levee opened in 2001, it has come up short in one aspect for which the residents of Newport, who underwrote the project with a $55 million bond issue, had high expectations. Annual $875,000 payments to the city's general fund - a portion of which the city intended to share with Newport Independent Schools - have yet to be made. Accounting for a prorated payment the first year, that's $3.7 million the city and the schools expected but haven't seen over the course of the Levee's first five years. It's not that the Levee hasn't boosted the municipal and school coffers. It has. Both property and payroll tax receipts are up:

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Why anyone would want some of this crap is beyond me.....

 

Cameras catch people taking stuff at Levee

 

By Shelly Whitehead

Post staff reporter

 

 

From its scenic location to its popular entertainment offerings, Newport on the Levee has become the apple of every riverfront developer's eye.

 

But in recent days, the Levee has attracted the attention of some less reputable folks, intent on walking off with a little bite of the big apple of local development one logo'd chunk at a time.

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^The Journal had that article. They titled it something like "Crime on the rise at Newport on the Levee." That gave me a chuckle.

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From the 11/18/05 Cincinnati Business Courier:

 

 

Newport on the Levee has Status

 

Status, an upscale men's apparel boutique operated by Skeffington's formal wear, has opened a pilot store at Newport on the Levee, into which Skeffington's has relocated.

 

The 1,880-square-foot store operates on the riverwalk level in the Gallery Building across from theater ticket booth. It features a selection of designer-line shirts, slacks, suits, shoes and accessories, along with a store-within-the-store Skeffington's, which relocated from the mezzanine level at the Levee.

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Old article....

 

 

Real Estate

Intrinzic to be Levee's first office tenant

Laura Baverman

 

Newport on the Levee announced in October that it would open 48,000 square feet of former retail space to office tenants and in December, it found its first match.

 

Intrinzic Marketing and Design, an advertising and marketing firm based in Anderson Township, will occupy 6,000 square feet of the former Empire Night Club on the third level of the center.

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From the 2/12/06 Enquirer:

 

 

Surrounding development needed to help Levee pay bills

 

Newport on the Levee has been a big success if you're looking for dinner and a movie. But for those paying the bills on more than $50 million in bonds issued to build the riverfront entertainment complex, cash in the wallet has come up a little short.

 

About $2.1 million short, to be precise.

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Newport is definitely a place where people look for entertainment/nightlife a lot more than shopping.  Is the AMC theater doing pretty well? I'd imagine it is.  That's usually where I go to see movies. The area around Barnes and Noble is packed, but with mostly broke teenagers that don't buy anything and are just there to hang out.

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I think the Levee pushed their entertainment and dining options more than their shopping options.  I'm not sure how the theater is doing.  I haven't been to the Levee in a while, maybe a year.  It's been even longer since I've been to the AMC theater.

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"The levee generated 1.6 million for the city"? That doesn't seem like much at all, really...  It seems like AMC and Brio alone should generate that much money.  Am I think only one that thinks that the problem is just as simple as the fact that there's not that many shopping options in Newport? I mean why go there to shop when you can go to one of the other nearby malls that have a lot more to chose from.

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From the 2/14/06 Enquirer:

 

 

Levee deal may net city $2.6M

BY RYAN CLARK | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

 

City Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to allow the owners of Newport on the Levee to change certain aspects of the project - and to pay the city a discounted rate if the money is paid this month.

 

It could net the city more than $2.6 million.

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If and when something concrete is proposed, we'll start a new thread for it.  From the 2/28/06 Kentucky Post:

 

 

PHOTO: Newport on the Levee has plans to develop on the land east of the main facility, which is now a parking lot. The new facility is expected to have a great view of the Cincinnati skyline.  JASON D. GEIL/The Post

 

East of the levee

Experts and officials agree condos and retail would be a good fit for prime site

By Bob Driehaus

Post staff reporter

 

Newport on the Levee is poised to jump into the red-hot urban condominium market, armed with a revised development agreement that would allow for condos to be built just east of the popular entertainment complex.

 

Condos, possibly coupled with street-level retail, would be a good fit for what is now a parking lot owned by Newport on the Levee, city commissioners and development experts agree.

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how many condo units are now proposed in and around the riverfronts of kentucky and ohio???  7 billion now?  you have to imagine that half of these proposals are going to be hung out to dry.

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From my understanding the majority of these projects ARE becoming reality.  Hopefully 'The Banks' comes through thats really the only project that is questionable now.  It is the biggest of the projects, but I am still optimistic that most of these projects WILL happen.

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I love the idea of living in a high-rise condo. When I'm out of college I think that's what I'll do. 

 

"From my understanding the majority of these projects ARE becoming reality.  Hopefully 'The Banks' comes through thats really the only project that is questionable now.  It is the biggest of the projects, but I am still optimistic that most of these projects WILL happen."

 

Newport has been profiting too much off of us and taking advantage of our lack of implementation of projects. We NEED The Banks. I'm going to be pissed if it doesn't go through but why wouldn't it?  Isn't the only hold up in finding a qualified developer?  I don't see why The Banks could ultimately fall through, unless there's something I didn't read. Why is it "questionable"?  The area in between the stadiums has got to be the most prime real estate ANYWHERE in the entire city. We're talking about crowds of tens of thousands of  people walking around downtown after games, that need places to eat and have a fun time.  The same goes for crowds from USBank and Great American. The Bengals are really hot right now but by the time The Banks gets built I'm hoping that they maintain their status or do even do better to bring in more revenue.

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