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

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...catching up a little:

 

City helps the Levee redevelop theater

Former Imax locale is cleared of debts

BY SCOTT WARTMAN | SWARTMAN@NKY.COM

 

The site of the former Imax theater at Newport on the Levee might soon be redeveloped.

 

Monday, Newport city commissioners approved an order that assures that no liens, debts or bills of sale left after the theater closed in 2003 will inhibit the Levee's ability to develop the site, city solicitor Mike Schulkens said.

 

The Levee bought the lease on the building for the former theater in the past month, city officials said. The city still owns the land.

 

"We are interested in seeing the site developed," Schulkens said.

 

The Imax theater closed after two years. The theater was behind in payments for its $2 million projector. The theater's owner, 3D on the Ohio LLC, has gone through bankruptcy, and the theater property has been vacant since.

 

Uh, so does this mean that a creditor is being denied the ability to collect what's owed to him by the fiat of Newport's city commission?  And if so, is that normal?  And if not, doesn't that make anyone here involved in the construction trade squirm just a little bit?

 

"We could truly accommodate not only entertainment visitors but also convention and business visitors," Ackermann said.

 

Convention visitors from where?!?!  Cincy or Covington...because who is going to want to stay at a hotel in Newport just to have to drive or pay for a taxi to get to their convention.  There is not enough to do in Newport for conventioners to make this kind of sacrifice.  The hotes immediately surrounding the two convention centers have that market on lockdown...unless they are full, then Newport and other places get the overflow.

 

I would imagine it would actually have a wider appeal than that - there are a lot of small conferences out there as well, maybe things where your regional sales force wants to meet someplace central to everyone...and while some conferences are explicitly for the purpose of being an excuse for a vacation, a lot of them honestly are not - you're packed with stuff day and night...NOTL would actually be an ideal setting for something like that, because you could have a ton of options for meals or for drinks right there, but it would be a smaller venue than a major downtown hotel...I bet if this hotel does happen that its small conference business will do quite well...

 

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>WOW...it's like the media picked up on the comments/observations I've been making about NOTL for years now.  Amazing!  The whole upper floor of retail space is essentially empty...the retailers on the first level are the cheap lease paying tenants from the malls...and what do ya know, IMAX couldn't dethrone the king that is

 

 

Well go back to the first page of this thread, the second post said this two years ago and I've said it myself.  The big problem facing the Levee is that around 2010 it's going to have to be renovated inside and out because these types of buildings always fade and go out of style quickly.  It doesn't matter what style they're built in, they'll go out of style right around 10 years after they're built.  Tower Place Mall already looks dated and City Center in Columbus looks downright dreary.   

 

 

>Maybe it isn't soo bad Cincinnati is taking their time with The Banks.  I guess their mindset is...let's not f up arguably the most important economic development project in our city's history.

 

Well Newport is certainly taking its time with the Millenium Tower.  That project really got me upset because the tore down a nice-looking prewar office building where the bell now sits that was about 9 stories tall while orchestrating a multi-prong hype campaign, like spreading the rumor that The Maisonette was going to move to the top of the 1,000+ foot tower.  The last time I went by the bell the visitor center looked like it had been mothballed and had a sign printed on a computer taped to the door that said "visits by appointment only". 

 

As for the hotel, there's been a riverfront Travelodge since probably 1960 right next to the Taylor-Southgate Bridge which got a fresh coat of paint a few years back.  It would be interesting to see if that hotel is paying more in property tax than all of NOTL!

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>WOW...it's like the media picked up on the comments/observations I've been making about NOTL for years now.  Amazing!  The whole upper floor of retail space is essentially empty...the retailers on the first level are the cheap lease paying tenants from the malls...and what do ya know, IMAX couldn't dethrone the king that is

 

 

Well go back to the first page of this thread, the second post said this two years ago and I've said it myself.  The big problem facing the Levee is that around 2010 it's going to have to be renovated inside and out because these types of buildings always fade and go out of style quickly.  It doesn't matter what style they're built in, they'll go out of style right around 10 years after they're built.  Tower Place Mall already looks dated and City Center in Columbus looks downright dreary.   

 

 

>Maybe it isn't soo bad Cincinnati is taking their time with The Banks.  I guess their mindset is...let's not f up arguably the most important economic development project in our city's history.

 

Well Newport is certainly taking its time with the Millenium Tower.  That project really got me upset because the tore down a nice-looking prewar office building where the bell now sits that was about 9 stories tall while orchestrating a multi-prong hype campaign, like spreading the rumor that The Maisonette was going to move to the top of the 1,000+ foot tower.  The last time I went by the bell the visitor center looked like it had been mothballed and had a sign printed on a computer taped to the door that said "visits by appointment only". 

 

As for the hotel, there's been a riverfront Travelodge since probably 1960 right next to the Taylor-Southgate Bridge which got a fresh coat of paint a few years back.  It would be interesting to see if that hotel is paying more in property tax than all of NOTL!

 

All in all, this might be one of my favorite posts from you of all time!  I love the subtle/not so subtle Newport low blows.  :laugh:

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Cincy-Rise, you're completely right, far as I'm concerned...I actually really enjoy going to NOTL, but it's because I like the carpaccio at Bravo, the sushi at Pacific Moon (still have to try Aoi), the bookstore to browse while waiting for your showtime at the movie theater with stadium seating, and the fact that I can walk there from my home.  But no doubt, if I had the stadium seating theater downtown, we probably wouldn't bother with NOTL...

 

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Sports Depot slates Levee opening

Business Courier of Cincinnati - 2:41 PM EDT Tuesday, August 7, 2007

 

 

A local retailer of sports apparel, memorabilia, souvenirs and team uniforms is opening its second location, this one at Newport on the Levee.

 

The Sports Depot plans to open Aug. 17, on the Riverwalk Level, Newport on the Levee said in a news release. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Click here to find out more!

 

Like its sister store at Northgate Mall, the Sports Depot features Cincinnati Reds and Bengals items, as well as merchandise from NASCAR and local colleges, including the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University and the University of Kentucky.

 

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Saw this on the front page of cincynation.com, thought it was funny

 

Newport Owes a Big

Thanks to Carl Lindner

 

Droves of people were seen walking to Newport on the Levee and nearby restaurants right after the Sunday's Reds game. Downtown Cincinnati? Empty. Even the much-hyped Sixth Street area was vacant. Because Carl Lindner wanted the ballpark on the riverfront, it has greatly boosted the fortunes of Newport.

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It makes you wonder, though, that if the ballpark were built at Broadway Commons would Newport not have seen as much invest as it has recently.  Would the Levee have been built in the first place if the Ballpark wasn't there and Riverfront gone?  Thus, keeping people and tax dollars in the Downtown/OTR economy before and after the games.

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You don't really have to wonder...the already struggling NOTL would have been completely unfeasibly had GABP been built at Broadway Commons.  All the activity with games would have been out there, and most likely you would not have seen Main Street struggle as it has over the years.  The area would have been much more lively and thus would have detered much of the crime that has scared away both potential businesses and residents alike.

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Aquarium may be sold

BY SCOTT WARTMAN | CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

August 16, 2007

 

NEWPORT - The owner of Dollywood and other amusement parks is in discussions to buy the Newport Aquarium, an aquarium spokesperson said today.

 

Norcross, Ga.-based Herschend Family Entertainment has had "serious discussions" with the aquarium's owners, Steiner and Associates, said Jill Isaacs, aquarium spokesperson.

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Bit of Dollywood might be coming to the Levee

Theme-park owner eyeing the Aquarium

 

By Kevin Eigelbach

Post staff reporter

 

The Newport Aquarium, one of the region's most popular attractions, may soon have a new owner and management.

 

Atlanta-based Herschend Family Entertainment, which manages Tennessee's Dollywood and other theme parks, wants to become at least a part owner in the aquarium.

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"More than 70 percent of the aquarium's visitors come from out of state, Kentucky Department of Tourism Economic and Community Development Director Todd Cassidy said"

 

I wonder what that figure looks like if take out ohio.

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Bit of Dollywood might be coming to the Levee

Theme-park owner eyeing the Aquarium

 

I would certainly like to see Dollywood take the Aquarium in it's bosom and nurture it for future growth.

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Here is something I've been stewing on.  Many people say that NOTL is sooo cool, and that it would be great for Cincy to take a page out of Newport's proverbial book.  Sure thing, but lets compare the two again:

 

Downtown

--$3 flat rate parking @ Fountain Square, with lots of free on-street parking after 6pm.  Valet parking also available at FS and other various downtown spots.

--More bars and clubs than NOTL or even Newport as a whole

--Multiple performance theatres

--Quality and quantity of restaurants isn't even comparable

--Multiple live music venues

--Cocktail lounges/jazz clubs

--Multiple art galleries

 

Newport/NOTL

--$5 flat rate parking @ NOTL, slim pickings for free on-street parking.  Valet parking also available at NOTL.

--Handful of bars and arguably no clubs

--Zero performance theatres

--Couple decent restaurants

--Couple live music venues

--No real lounges/clubs

--No art galleries at least to my knowledge.

 

Bottom line is that Downtown Cincinnati offers more things to do, for a wider variety of people and offers cheaper parking.  Who needs to be taking notes from who again?

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What about shadowbox in NOTL?

Aquarium in NOTL, I think there are some art galleries in Newport up a few blocks, but I might be thinking covington.

 

from a taking out the familystandpoint NOTL has some strong points, but for a date or single person going out I think the CBD takes the cake,

 

really its good that they are in walking distance for each other.  having a streetcar line connecting to newport would be great, adds a movie theatre, aquarium, great views, Hofbrau house.

 

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^^forgot about shadowbox...also forgot about the Giggle Hut or whatever that comedy club is.  Don't get me wrong...it's alright, I just don't understand why people always like to compare the two and then always say how much more there is to do in Newport.  I just get heated from time to time.

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Can we stop the bitching about if northern Kentucky or Cincinnati is better? It doesn't matter if both cities cooperate or if the developments of both compliment each other's profile.

 

Both regions are great and have their own unique aspects. Who @#$%ing cares if Northern Kentucky doesn't have performing art venues or art galleries? And who @#^&ing cares if Cincinnati has 100s of more restaurants than Northern Kentucky? Last I read, this was a thread about Newport on the Levee, not Northern Kentucky sucks compared to Cincinnati.

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Other riverfront projects

Herald-Dispatch [Huntington], Oct 21, 2007

(Second item.)

 

Dubuque, Iowa

 

In the mid 1990s, Dubuque started planning a riverfront project, prodded by the Dubuque Historical Society, which proposed a $25 million river museum/aquarium. It ended up being a $58 million facility, but the society raised every last dollar, said Dubuque's city manager, Mike Van Milligen.

 

From there, the vision grew into a $188 million renovation of the riverfront, funded through the city of Dubuque, state and federal government, and private enterprises.

 

The 90-acre riverfront area in Dubuque includes an amphitheater, plaza, river museum and aquarium and more. Its concrete floodwall was buried and had a riverwalk put on top of it. Connected to that is a Grand River Resort and WaterPark and the Grand River Center, which is a city-owned convention center.

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Also, just up the hill from all that stuff in Chattanooga is a wonderful arts district - little galleries, a coffee shop, restaurant or two, B&B, outdoor sculpture park, etc., etc...wonderful city, great development.  Oh, plus the Reds AA affiliate, the Lookouts, play just west of all of that...very nice...

 

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The Fountain Square South Garage is only $1 nights & weekends.

 

I heard about that! 3 dollars to park downtown in the garage right below where I work. Incredible. I'm getting a car soon and will definitely take advantage of that!

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^that's more of a store than it is a gallery...doesn't count to me.  Z Galleries, for example, also sells some art type stuff but they are primarily a furniture/home decor store...not a gallery.

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You haven't been in Pendleton Arts Center then.

 

We have a sister Pendleton in Ashland and it is very much an art gallery and studio. Ours contain ~30 artists who work whenever, and is open only on the first Friday and Saturday of a month.

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Just because people don't look --

 

There is a gallery hop in NOKY through various venues. That means there are galleries and studios. Like most cities.

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Just because people don't look --

 

There is a gallery hop in NOKY through various venues. That means there are galleries and studios. Like most cities.

 

Where? ... Because I used to live in Newport and I don't recall there being something like this?

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First Friday of every month, typically from 6-10 PM.

 

Here is 2004 locations, which may have changed. Visit city hall or the tourism commission for an updated list --

In Covington: Twelve businesses open their doors on MainStrasse between Fifth and Seventh streets; nine feature art: Cock & Bull English Pub, Chez Nora, Eine Kleine Photograph, M, Noah's Art Salon/Gallery, Reverie Therapeutics, Ritual Salon, Scribbles and Willow House Antiques. Pick up a detailed map at Eine Kleine Photograph (610 Main St.).

 

In Newport: Start at Mammoth Coffee (515 Monmouth St.), then, head southwest to Eighth and York streets. for Stained Glass Theatre (802 York St.) and York Street Cafe (738 York St.). Finish up at Seventh Street Gifts (114 E. Seventh St.) and the Crazy Fox Saloon (901 Washington Ave.).

 

In Bellevue: Park on Fairfield Avenue and visit Bellevue Beadery (307 Fairfield Ave.), Fairfield Coffee Company and Gatherings, all in a row.

 

Also see http://kentuckytourism.com/CalendarDetail.htm?CID=10943 for Gallery Hop information.

 

And see this page for museums, art studios, etc.

 

KET's Kentucky Life has also highlighted several nice galleries and unique craft stores in NOKY (I watch the show daily!) :)

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In Newport: Start at Mammoth Coffee (515 Monmouth St.), then, head southwest to Eighth and York streets. for Stained Glass Theatre (802 York St.) and York Street Cafe (738 York St.). Finish up at Seventh Street Gifts (114 E. Seventh St.) and the Crazy Fox Saloon (901 Washington Ave.).

 

 

I'm not going to argue with the Covington gallery walk ... but I cannot see the Newport walk on the streets that you mentioned attracting a large crowd or a crowd that would be interested in art. I hate to generalize like that, and I usually don't.

 

Those streets that you mentioned are in areas that ... let's just say ... live up to the KY stereotype. That's all I'm going to say about that. I'm also on board as to looking at NOKY and Cincinnati need to think regionally.

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You may want to read this article on NOKY city cooperation.

 

Large crowds are not indicative of success. I attend most of the Gallery Hops in Lexington, KY, which has a large arts and cultural scene, and while I see a lot of people around places like the Artists Attic in Victorian Square or around the Arts Place, I see far fewer in other galleries. It's not the quantity of people that define the success of say... an art gallery, but the quality. And for some artists, their gallery is open far more than a few days a month.

 

But my point being, I posted all that to refute Randy's assertion that there were no art galleries or anything cultural in NOKY, and that places like the Pendleton Arts Center are considered art institutions.

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But my point being, I posted all that to refute Randy's assertion that there were no art galleries or anything cultural in NOKY, and that places like the Pendleton Arts Center are considered art institutions.

 

Actually I was specifically comparing NOTL to Downtown Cincinnati (as most people do).  I also stretched that out to the wider reaches of Downtown Newport.  I know that Covington has stuff like that, and is actually a place that I like in Nky (just about the ONLY place).

 

Personally I think Cincinnati, Newport and Covington should all work together...but it really doesn't seem like the Nky cities want to cooperate AT ALL with Cincinnati and actually seem to use the feud as their source of momentum.  Why is it that every Nky project is compared to Cincinnati...the opposite is not true (except when you have a writer using it as a negative against a Cincy project...ie The Banks).

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I would think that cooperation between NOKY and Cincinnati (what does NOTL mean, just out of curiousity?) would be difficult to manage, given that Cincinnati boasts a population far higher than NOKY and that there would be many fundamental differences. While NOKY cities are getting away with the divide and conquer approach, with one city taking the residential projects, another taking the civic projects, and so forth, that would be difficult to accomplish if you added in Cincinnati. There are many who don't venture across the river for whatever reason, given that its like crossing three blocks over water and the river acting as a large psychological barrier.

 

It is forming better in my head. If I can type it out better later, I'll add in comments into this post.

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Oh, thanks. I wouldn't think it would be fair to compare NOTL to downtown Cincinnati, as downtown Cincinnati encompasses many more blocks and is loosely defined (see the Big 3 Population thread, where we can't even get a reliable figure anywhere on population!). NOTL is just one development project, comparable to The Banks (if it existed right now) or a similar district (perhaps Calhoun Street? or perhaps Fountain Square?). If you widened the scope of NOTL to include the downtowns of Covington, Newport, etc., you would have a greater variety in galleries, restaurants, etc.

 

For some reason, I associated NOTL with NOKY off the bat. Oops.

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