How popular has living in an urban area become? So popular that nearly 600 people show up for tours of available residences in five Northern Kentucky cities along the Ohio River, says Jill Morenz, director of community initiatives and communications for The Catalytic Fund.

The tours, called Beyond the Curb Urban Living Tours, started in 2015 as a way to market the five urban river cities of Northern Kentucky—Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton.

Officials of The Catalytic Fund—a private sector, not-for-profit organization that provides financing assistance and related services for developers of quality residential and commercial real estate projects in those five Northern Kentucky cities—realized that many of those communities didn’t have large budgets to market themselves, says Morenz.

“We thought we could help with marketing the region as an alternative to, for example, [Over-the-Rhine] or The Banks for people who are interested in urban living,” she says. The tours are intended to show people the wide variety of housing options that are available in Northern Kentucky, she says.

The tours typically take place twice a year and showcase about 15 properties in one of the five river cities, says Morenz. The tours include a wide variety of housing options, including renovated historic homes, luxury condominiums and mixed-use buildings with apartments on top, she says.

“We just try to get a real wide variety so people can understand that … whatever they’re looking for is here,” says Morenz. In addition, the tours usually include a couple of residential projects that are in progress to give them an idea of what will soon be on the market, she says.

The next Beyond the Curb Urban Living Tour will honor the five-year anniversary of the full funding of the Catalytic Investment Fund, which is used to provide real estate services and/or funding to accelerate the revitalization of Northern Kentucky’s urban core, says Morenz. 

The tour on Sunday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include five properties in each of the five river cities for a total of 25 properties, she says. Tour participants will be able to park their car in each city and walk to the five properties in that city before driving to the next city, says Morenz.

Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the tour and can be bought on the website, she says. That’s the same cost as previous tours even though this tour has even more properties to visit, says Morenz. Tour participants will also be able to qualify for a great raffle prize, she says.

“The tours are really, really popular,” says Morenz. Last year’s tours in Covington and Newport drew nearly 600 people to each city, including people from 66 different ZIP codes, she says. “[The tours are] really successful and really fun,” says Morenz. 

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