CAMPBELL COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Newport on the Levee is getting a major facelift. The pandemic temporarily slowed down the project but the construction is ramping back up this week.
Initial construction on the redevelopment, spearheaded by North American Properties, began in June 2019 with the demolition of the building formerly home to Mitchell’s Fish Market.
New images of the renovation project were released today which feature an active public realm, a reenergized Gallery Building and enhanced connectivity with the waterfront, streets and bridges.
Frequent visitors say they are excited about the project and it’s exactly what the area needed.
“It think it’s very important. I mean it shows off the city. It allows people a place to come and hang out and not always be in the downtown congestion,” said Joe Kramer.
NOTL General Manager Jim Otto describes the work on the property as a “radical surgery.”
He says the west side of the Gallery Building, which currently houses the AMC Theater ,will be redesigned with complete glass.
“We’ll be able to flood the inside of the Gallery Building with natural light,” he explained, “and the opposite side, the east side of the Gallery Building, will be a bridge that will connect the Purple People Bridge, so you will be able to walk to the bridge directly into the Gallery Building.”
Additionally, a new parking garage entrance is being created to improve access from Third Street, and the valet circle will be modified to enhance traffic flow.
The pandemic caused the project to pivot focus, which delivered the new Bridgeview Box Park. The park allows visitors to hangout outside while staying socially distant.
Erin Hartmann visited NOTL today to celebrate her birthday. She says that she’s already excited about the noticeable improvements.
“It’s way better, yeah especially with COVID, because now it’s like you want to be outdoors. You want to be here with people but in a safe environment,” she said.
Otto explains the redevelopment isn’t only about transforming the area into a prettier place, but a more functional space that will bring the community together along with jobs.
”Almost all of, if not all the tenants in the Box Park are local businesses. Our neighbors our community is so important. The only way we succeed is through our community and our neighbors that we love so much,” said Otto.
Construction picks back up this week. Meanwhile, Otto says that all businesses will stay open during renovations.
The project’s next phase is expected to wrap up mid-2021.