Thursday, June 18, 2009

Riverfront Commons project receives $25K, closer to goal

With the approval of $25,000 from the Northern Kentucky Port Authority (NKPA), Southbank Partners is more than halfway to its fundraising goal that would allow it to hire lobbyists and consultants to promote the $170 million Riverfront Commons project.

"In just two months, Southbank has raised over $200,000 of the $335,000 needed to engage consultants, including a Washington, DC-based consulting firm [20/20 Strategies] that will lobby for federal funds for this audacious project," said Roger Peterman, chairman of the NKPA.

The multi-use trail would connect all of Northern Kentucky's river cities and create what Southbank Partners president Bill Scheyer calls "the most exciting riverfront experience in the Midwest".

All of the cities' downtowns, riverfront parks and cultural assets would be tied to each other, and to Cincinnati's as well.

To help improve the project's chances for success, it has recently been merged with Vision 2015's Licking River Greenway project, which would extend from the Ohio River to I-275.

Project promoters estimate that the entire project could stimulate $1.5 billion in private investment and create 4,000 permanent jobs.

"This support from the Northern Kentucky Port Authority shows further and deeper community involvement to reach our goals with these projects," Peterman said. "We want Northern Kentucky to be more and more attractive in our quest to attract talent in the workforce, and this is one more way to do it."

The cities of Bellevue, Covington, Dayton, Fort Thomas and Ludlow have committed funding for the effort, and decisions on project funding by the City of Newport and Campbell and Kenton counties are pending.

Previous reading on BC:
Public hearing seeks Licking Greenway ideas (1/21/09)