Expansion plans for Newport on the Levee?

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - A multi-million dollar expansion plan for Newport on the Levee is in the works. This week the Levee management team is meeting with retailers and presenting their plans at a national convention in Las Vegas.

The expansion could include an apartment complex, a hotel, and a digital entertainment venue.

Across the river, places like Over-the-Rhine and The Banks are seeing much more foot traffic thanks to recent development. Donald Smith says he feels Newport is a few years behind other cities, but with these plans, they could be hot on their heels.

"I think Over the Rhine laid down a pretty good blueprint for what to do in a city that really doesn't have too much to offer to residents, but we'll get there," said local resident Donald Smith.

On Wednesday, Fox19 spoke with Newport on the Levee Marketing Director Christy Gloyd. She says one major piece of this project is adding about 220 apartment units just north of Hofbrauhaus.

"More residents, more money spent. Anything related to development is good for down here," said Smith.

"Everything is great down here. It's just a great environment. It's just a fun place to be and things are looking great. It doesn't look as gloomy," said resident Joe Lacinak.

There's also talks to add a limited service hotel room with about 120 rooms and a parking garage for over 400 spaces. Jon Livingston is from out of town and says this part of the project is most intriguing to his family.

"It was about a half hour drive from where we stayed to come down and visit. If we were really close by, it'd make it just easier, just foot traffic and be able to go to everything," said Livingston.

The Levee management says as much as 15,000 square feet of additional retail space could be added to the first floor of some of these buildings.

"If we came back down this way again from Michigan, we'd definitely come down here and spend more than just a day here," Livingston.

In 2003, bankruptcy forced the IMAX theater, one of Newport on the Levee's major businesses to close down.

AMC theater is still attracting locals now. However, one potential addition in this project is a digital entertainment venue, although it's not clear what that will entail.

The Levee management team says they're having success here with tenants seeing revenue gains in the last year and, they're just hoping this three acre project will make this area even more attractive for guests.

The management team says there's no timetable for a groundbreaking on this project. They're still in the negotiation stages with potential developers.

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