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Covington makes plans for the city's economic future despite coronavirus pandemic

$4.9 million development coming to downtown area
Posted at 8:37 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 23:24:31-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — A nearly $4.9 million development is coming to Covington, and officials say that means more jobs and increased revenue.

“We have four vacant floors," said Tom West, Covington's economic development director. "We can fill those with 80 new employees.”

The 27,000-square-foot Republic Bank building on Madison Avenue holds promise for the future of the city. The inside of the building is outdated, which is why four floors are left vacant.

Republic Bank Building Overhead View WorK Architecture + Design.jpg

West said the building's transformation will fill a need.

“We’re getting inundated with calls from small to mid-size companies looking for 2,000 to 20,000 square feet," West said. "They all want that cool vibe office space. Right? The old industrial look. We just didn’t have that much on the market.”

That aesthetic is what the city is hoping to now cater to inside the newly-renovated, state-of-the-art office space, including removing the old drywall, exposing the ductwork and the brickwork.

Republic Bank Building Interior WorK Architecture + Design.jpg

The building's roof could be Covington's newest rooftop bar or restaurant, West said.

“This is going to be an amazing space, where you’ll get that free view,” West said.

Republic Bank Building Rooftop WorK Architecture + Design.jpg

Many businesses are now closed due to the coronavirus, but the city of Covington is still moving forward.

“The coronavirus isn’t going to be here forever," West said. "We’ll recover from this, and when we recover, we want to hit the ground running and be ready.”

Covington's city commissioners passed two TIF loans on Tuesday totaling $300,000. If that sounds like a lot for a city to spend, West said the development will bring in nearly $100,000 each year in taxes, recouping the initial investment and then some in no time.

“We underwrite the incentive packages that we do so the taxpayer gets a return on their investment," West said.

Covington is hoping to generate momentum in the midst of the pandemic.

“So many people want to be in this community — we can spend this time getting the product ready so that when everyone is able to go back and be close to each other, we’ll have a place where everyone will be welcome," West said.