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Developers ask Covington to help close funding gap for luxury apartments at former Kenton Co. building

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Posted at 8:26 PM, Mar 16, 2021

COVINGTON, Ky. — Luxury apartments, retail space and restaurants could replace the vacant Kenton County Administration building on Court Street, but not without help from the city of Covington.

A proposed $31.4 million redevelopment at 303 Court would bring 133 apartments, with rents starting at $1,111 and topping out at $1,714, plus about 6,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Documents presented to Covington Commissioners Tuesday said this would be an "expensive and complicated" building rehab. Two new levels of apartments would be constructed on top of the existing 10-story building, and the facade will be stripped to the building's concrete core before the renovation.

303 Court Street Development - Covington, Ky. by WCPO 9 News on Scribd

Developers Al. Neyer and Urban Sites Capital Investors asked city commissioners Tuesday night to help close an $8.5 million funding gap for the project through industrial revenue bonds and tax incentives.

Citing high construction costs and expected high real estate taxes, developers are seeking $1.9 million from the city: $500,000 through a TIF grant and $1.4 million in forgone property tax over 20 years. The remaining gap would be closed with investor equity, developers said.

For the development, the city has also offered 146 parking spaces out of Kenton Garage, adding to the 22 on-site spaces.

At Tuesday’s meeting, some commissioners expressed concern that proposed rents would price some Covington residents out, and there are no affordable housing units in the proposal, according to the presentation documents.

Covington City Commission is expected to discuss it further at its March 23 legislative meeting.

Government offices and the jail moved out of the Court Street building, which has sat vacant since 2019. County offices are now housed inside the former Bavarian Brewery at 12th Street and Simon Kenton Way.