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Covington City Commission set to review new details on former IRS site development

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Posted at 10:52 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 11:13:13-05

COVINGTON, Ky. — It's being called a once-in-a-lifetime development opportunity, but what's to come of the city's Internal Revenue Service site? For the first time, the neighborhood has a more concrete idea.

The IRS' Covington offices, which spanned Fourth to Third streets and Johnson Street to Madison Avenue, comprised a major job hub for Northern Kentucky's largest city until the federal agency vacated the property in 2019.

Since, it has sat vacant.

Covington's economic development director, Tom West, plans to give more specifics to the city commission Tuesday.

"We'll attempt to complement the development pattern in Mainstrasse and downtown (Covington)," West said. "We're not looking for more big office towers or block-long type of buildings. More of the three- to four-story types of buildings."

The city acquired the 23-acre site last summer, nearly a year after the IRS vacated its staff from the facility.

The new mixed-use development should include 200,000 square feet of office space, 177 new hotel rooms, 87,800 square feet of retails space and 348 new residential units.

It will also expand the nearby Northern Kentucky Convention Center by 111,000 square feet.

Twelve-year Covington resident and business owner Missy Spears said she hopes local businesses can get a piece of the pie.

"We lost so much tax income with (the IRS building). I'd love to see office space developed (and) regain some of that income," Spears said. "I'd love to see them try to get it, as many as possible, to be locally owned. Covington has become heavily gentrified. The number one way to fight that is to keep the money local."

WCPO 9's ongoing series, Move Up Cincinnati, tracks regional growth and how our community is working to uplift those left behind. To contact the Move Up Cincinnati team, email us at moveupcincinnati@wcpo.com.

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