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This is What the New Hotel in Newport is Going to Look Like

Ground is now broken on what will be known as Aqua on the Levee, an $80 million mixed-use development that will place apartments, a hotel, new retail space, and a parking garage on the Lot B space next to Newport on the Levee.

The Newport City Commission approved the issuance of more than $70 million in bonds so that Capital Investment Group could move forward with the massive project.

"You could not ask for a better location," said CIG partner Gregg Fusaro. "It really has everything: views of downtown Cincinnati, within walking distance of downtown Cincinnati, right next to Newport on the Levee, and in the heart of the vibrant Newport riverfront."

"It will be perfect for millennials, young professionals who work downtown, and empty nesters who want to live in an exciting urban environment. It is our intention to create a lifestyle unequaled in the region with this development, in much the same fashion as we did with SouthShore condominiums."

CIG developed the SouthShore high-end condos as well as the Vue 180 luxury apartments.

Leaders from Newport and the surrounding region attended the groundbreaking Thursday and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear issued a statement applauding the project. "Newport on the Levee is a vibrant hub for dining and entertainment, and this development will create even more reasons to eat, work, and play in this area," Beshear said. "The new project takes advantage of great views of the river and a pedestrian-friendly environment and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors to Newport."

Aqua on the Levee will be packed with new space

The entire development will have 239 luxury one, two, and three-bedroom apartments with views of the Ohio River and Cincinnati skyline. The hotel will be a Starwood Aloft Hotel, developed and managed by Louisville-based Musselman Hotels which operates fifteen hotels across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. The hotel will have 10,000 square feet of meeting space. There will be 8,300 square feet of neighborhood retail space and an 800-car parking garage.

CIG partner David Bastos said that the development "intends to raise the bar for luxury apartment living".

"We fully intend to utilize Newport on the Levee to provide our residents with great entertainment and dining experiences," Bastos said. 

The Aloft Hotel will be the first of its brand in the region and will have 144 rooms and suites, a lobby bar, and its previously referenced meeting space. "We really like the Northern Kentucky market and the proximity to downtown Cincinnati is a huge plus," said Chester Musselman, president and CEO of Musselman Hotels. "With all the amenities Newport on the Levee has to offer, this is a product that will attract tourists, business people, and residents alike to the region. We will definitely utilize the Levee and all it has to offer and work hand in hand with the Levee to provide our guests with the best experience possible."

Newport on the Levee general manager Harold Dull called the project "transformational".

"There has been a long-term vision to build a hotel and a residential development adjacent to Newport on the Levee," Dull said. "Given the depth of experience and expertise that Capital Investment Group and Musselman Hotels have in the region, we now feel like we have the right players to make this happen. The synergy and convenience of the two projects will be fantastic."

"Visitors and professionals can travel here, stay at the hotel, and visit the Levee, the Newport Aquarium, and other locations and venues throughout the area. And for residents, they will have great views of the city and the river and have all the entertainment, dining, and amenities they want right at their doorstep."

The total investment by CIG in Newport's riverfront now stands at $150 million, according to a news release. "Capital Investment Group has been a tremendous partner and asset to our city," said Newport City Manager Tom Fromme. "They believe in Newport and build outstanding developments that bring new investment, residents, and excitement to the city."

Construction is scheduled to begin later this month.

"It is exciting to see the beginning of construction on the new Levee development that is such a significant piece of the riverfront development plan," said State Rep. Dennis Keene (D-Wilder). "The addition of a hotel, small conference center, apartments, and additional retail will help stabilize the overall development and move the Levee forward with much success."

-Staff report
Photos by Chuck Beatty 
Renderings provided