Newport mixed-use development at World Peace Bell site moves forward – The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Two new hotels, office space and a city-owned parking garage will go up at the current site of the World Peace Bell in Newport. On Friday, city commissioners approved the plan, which has been five years in the making.

A gigantic bell that put Newport on an international stage in 2000 will be moved to make way for new development.

During a special meeting Friday, the Newport City Commission moved forward with plans to revitalize a city block bordered by Monmouth, York, Fourth and Fifth streets at the World Peace Bell site. The mixed-use development will include:

Just Askin’:What is the World Peace Bell and why did it end up in Newport?

Commissioners approved an agreement with hotel operator Shaun Pan, owner and operator of the nearby Hampton Inn & Suites at the city’s riverfront, to redevelop the block. It’s prime real estate, the city said in a news release, and officials have been trying to revitalize it for decades. This project took about five years of planning.

New development will go up at the current World Peace Bell site. The bell was installed in Newport at the turn of the millennium and rang for the first time in the U.S. at midnight Jan. 1, 2000. Standing 12 feet tall and weighing 66,000 pounds, it’s the world’s largest free-swinging bell.

The new mixed-use development will go up in a Newport city block bordered by Monmouth, York, Fourth and Fifth streets.

The bell will be relocated to open up that space, most of which is currently a parking lot. Current plans call to relocate it to General James Taylor Park along the Ohio River, but it will first be moved to a temporary site. An office building and the World Peace Bell offices will be demolished to make way for the development.

Funding sources come from private and public pools of money. The city, county, state and local school district had to sign off on plans to issue bonds. The agreement also calls for the developer to spend $20 million by October 2025. It also outlines the responsibilities of the city and the developer.

Site preparation has already begun. Demolition and construction activity will intensify beginning in May.

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