Economic Development Vision:
The City of Newport is home to thriving business, entertainment, and shopping districts, providing local employment opportunities offering livable wages. Government officials and residents collaborate to activate public spaces. The community works together to create demand for private sector investment for redevelopment by addressing brownfields for beneficial reuse, renovating infrastructure, and reusing historical buildings/sites. Key to this community driven urban redevelopment is fostering efficient public transportation and creating a walkable, bike friendly community, furthering increased accessibility to Newport’s business districts, neighborhoods, and the entire region.
In 1990, after years of civic activity to clean up Newport, poverty was higher than it had been during the Great Depression. This can be attributed to the flight of middle class residents to the suburbs and the closure of major employers like Interlake Steel and the Wiedemann Brewery. Over the past 25 years, with good local government and community involvement, Newport has undergone a renaissance.
Progress has been made, but it has been uneven. Million dollar riverfront condos stand only a few blocks from some of the poorest census blocks in Northern Kentucky. A close look reveals that in a part of Newport’s west side, 35% of families live in poverty with a median household income of only $22,604. By contrast, a part of the east side boasts a household poverty rate of under 7% and median household income of $63,828, almost three times more. Because of this gap in socioeconomic conditions, the Newport basin is often described as two separate cities, the east side and the west side.
The construction of the new routing for KY 9 and renewed interest in the Ovation development site provides the unique opportunity to bring redevelopment and economic revitalization to Newport’s Westside neighborhoods. The ReNewport Economic Development Task Force focused on how these projects and other current economic development initiatives in Newport could address these disparities by attracting new businesses and living wage jobs, growing existing businesses and improving the quality of life for all Newport residents.