Riverfront development could heat up soon

By Sara Celi – bio | email

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19)--Even in biting cold weather, Marshall Slagle sees a chance for Northern Kentucky's Riverfront to heat up. He's been hired by Southbank partners to further develop what's become prime real estate in Greater Cincinnati.

"This is an opportunity to build on what we've already done," says Slagle.

The plan would link together the cities that line the Ohio River in Northern Kentucky, and then possibly revitalize areas like Covington Landing.

"I see some of this coming back, but maybe not all the way that it was," says Slagle.

Slagle says one big walkway would likely link Covington's riverfront directly with places like Newport on the Levee. Plans also include Bellevue, Dayton, Ludlow. Slagle says tons of ideas are feeding the development fire. Southbank is calling the project Imagination 2020 and entertaining all ideas.

"I'm not afraid of competition. I say the more competition the better for all of us, so I say bring it on," says Shawn Thomas. He manages Covington's Behle Street Cafe.  He has a few ideas for Imagination 2020.

"The more business that is down here, the more Covington is going to continue to grow. The convention center's great, but more retail, even restaurants," says Thomas.

'"If you've been in areas like San Antonio, Texas and Chattanooga, Tennessee, these are examples of how things have happened by a strong group," says Slagle. If he has his way, Slagle and Soutbank partners will provide that leadership by working with Northern Kentcuky cities to filly capitalize on the riverfront by 2020.

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