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Former Newport Barnes & Noble to Become "The Exchange"

The former Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Newport on the Levee is set to become "The Exchange", North American Properties (NAP) announced this week.

NAP is in progress on a $100 million renovation of the Levee.

The Exchange is be a ground-floor artisan market with second-story offices spaces, opening in November. NAP stated that it is part of the company's ongoing effort to create opportunities for local businesses to lease flexible, short-term retail and office space.

The 11,000-sq. ft. indoor artisan market will have access to the River Walk and Plaza, adjacent to the new Bridgeview Box Park, which will soon be weather-proofed, the company said.

Ripple Wine Bar, which operates on Pike Street in downtown Covington, will have a bar in the center of the space during the holiday season.

“The Exchange creates an innovative platform for local entrepreneurs to bring their concepts to life in a vibrant mixed-use environment,” said Regan (Noppenberger) Thomas, commercial leasing representative at NAP. “As the retail industry continues to evolve, we’re confident this model of rotating concepts will create a fresh, dynamic retail experience for the community unlike anything in the region, while also creating a low barrier to entry for small businesses.”

The upstairs level of The Exchange is being transformed into modern office space with panoramic views that comes as part of a larger NAP program called "Flip the Switch", a flexible, furnished, wired, move-in ready office workspace.

Office suites at The Exchange will range from 4,000 to 16,000 square feet, the company said.

“New age businesses are hungry for flexible, low-commitment workspace within highly amenitized urban environments,” said Tim Perry, managing partner at NAP. “The Exchange introduces something new to the market in a format that resonates with modern users and meets the demand for move-in ready space – a demand further accelerated by the pandemic. The new Newport on the Levee will achieve a unique sense of ‘place’ where office workers have immediate access to everything from morning coffee to evening events, just steps away from their desks. This engaging, social environment is even more appealing now as employers look to bring their workforce out of isolation and re-establish a strong company culture.”

Last month, NAP shared an update on the next phase of construction at the Levee, which includes renovations to the 113,000-square-foot Gallery Building, the addition of open-air communal spaces, and enhancements to increase connectivity throughout the property. 

-Staff report

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