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Newport's Grand Towers - Once County's Tallest Building - Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Neighborhood Foundations, which provides affordable housing opportunities in Newport and Campbell County, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Grand Towers Apartments along with residents of the building on Friday.

The Newport Municipal Housing Authority built the 12-story apartment building in 1969 on Grand Avenue in Newport between I-471 and Fort Thomas.

“The building was built the year I graduated from high school,” said Tom Guidulgi, Sr., executive director of Neighborhood Foundations. “It was tallest building in Campbell County for more than forty years until the South Shore Condominiums were constructed on the Newport riverfront in 2010.”

At a breakfast ceremony on Friday, Neighborhood Foundations recognized several of the residents who have lived in the apartments for more than 30 years, including its oldest resident, who is 98 years old.

At a lunch ceremony in the building’s community room, Newport City Commissioner Tom Guidulgi, Jr. read a proclamation from the city making June 1, 2019, the Grand Tower Golden Anniversary Day in the City of Newport. City Commissioner Frank Peluso joined Guidugli, Jr. at the event, sharing some of his experiences at Grand Tower, including visiting the structure when it was under construction in 1969.

Built from funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the structure cost $2.8 million to construct. The structure, which opened to the public in May 1969, initially had 83 one-bedroom apartments and 116 efficiency apartments for seniors.

In 2003, the Newport Housing Authority began a four-year, $8-million renovation of the building, which reduced the number of units in the structure from a total of 196 units to 139 one-bedroom apartments, including 11 units with full handicap accessibility. 

In 2015, Neighborhood Foundations spent another $1 million to replace all of the windows in the building.

Residents of Grand Towers must be 55 years or older and meet certain income requirements to qualify for the housing at the facility. Rent is based on a portion of the resident’s annual, adjusted income. The facility offers a variety of ongoing programs, services, and activities.

-Staff report

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