Newport is home to a diverse populace of involved residents working in conjunction with local government and regional partners to preserve, protect, and sustain our communal and cultural assets. Building on our track record of engagement and progress, we are working to leverage new ideas and community action to sustain and make Newport a great place to live, play, and work. Projects have taken off: improving our built environment; reinvigorating our parks and public spaces; preparing students for kindergarten; and increasing our opportunities to engage as a community. Many more initiatives are planned.
Investments in the renovation of historical architectural features, by both residents and business owners, established a real estate market known for the beauty of a remembered era. Beginning approximately 30 years ago with the initiative commonly referred to as Rehab-o-Rama, the City of Newport’s East Row Historic District, once identified as the roughest part of Sin City, transformed into attractive streets and a booming housing market with a robust social calendar. Now, thanks to partnerships between residents in the famed East Row and the up-and-coming West End, expansions of the federal and local historic district designations are underway. Efforts are aimed at an upswing in residential real estate opportunities, long awaited in Newport’s urban center. Participants of Newport’s Westside Citizen Coalition continue to organize and uplift the West End with educational presentations on pathways to home ownership, drug abuse prevention, historic preservation, and brownfield revitalization.
The Cote Brilliante neighborhood is advocating for improvements to the area’s walkability and creation of a neighborhood park. Home to a vibrant community of urban outdoor enthusiasts, Newport attracts runners, walkers, and bikers to the south shore of the Ohio River with a clear walking and biking path along the levee, skyline views, and interesting and diverse neighborhoods to explore. Red Bike stations dot our city, thanks in part to the generosity and persuasion of our residents and businesses.
Residents from across the city regularly join forces to make beautification initiatives a smashing success. Attracting support from residents of all neighborhoods, the Newport Parks Renaissance Commission recently installed the Buena Vista walking path and held several Movie in the Park events, activating our public lands and increasing the use of green space for community events and family outings.
In September 2015, thanks to the East Row Historic Foundation’s Beautification Committee, the Trash Bash Challenge engaged 100 residents to compete for prizes and boasting rights, picking up 1,000 lbs of litter throughout the city in under an hour. A bevy of committed neighbors planted over 120 trees in the spring of 2015 throughout Newport’s West End. These efforts will significantly increase tree canopy cover; lowering the urban heat island effect, and contributing to community and economic development.
The City of Newport boasts the area’s most comprehensive business and retail shopping districts; including Newport on the Levee, the Newport Pavilion, Newport Shopping Center, and the Central Business District along Monmouth and York Streets. Area residents from downtown Cincinnati and the neighboring south shore cities flock to Newport for shopping and entertainment.
Newport on the Levee, with its restaurants, shopping opportunities, aquarium, movie theatre, and community event spaces, will soon be joined by an adjacent hotel and apartment complex, giving visitors and new residents the opportunity to stay and play on the banks of the Ohio River.
With so many existing retail assets, there are immediate opportunities to infill the Central Business District along Monmouth and York Streets with new restaurants, businesses, and retail operations. Forthcoming development along the new Kentucky Route 9 corridor is expected to create jobs and provide living wage employment opportunities for local residents. Thanks to initiatives like Footsteps2Brilliance sponsored by the Newport Independent School District and City Commissioners, students will be better prepared for school, leading to future opportunities.
For decades Newport has been a city comprised of collaborative individuals, from active residents, to inspired business owners, and compassionate, engaged community leaders. At this point in our history, our community has reached a tipping point, a pinnacle moment, and an apex of collaboration leading to the next big evolution. As we leave the Great Recession, we can offer a hand up to our fellow residents that may need assistance and bring all of our neighbors along.