Reconnecting Covington; Envisioning the Future of the IRS Site
Green on the Levee, Love the CovLine and Central Green are three visions for the IRS site in Covington and were presented to a packed crowd at the Covington Business Council (CBC) luncheon on July 18 at the Madison Event Center. Over 200 people attended the luncheon, sponsored by St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Republic Bank, to listen to Kyle Reis, (pictured above) Principal and Director for Cooper Carry, the firm hired from the City to create a master plan for the IRS site, which is planning to close in September. After holding community open houses and gathering stakeholder feedback, the following three guiding principles developed: connect, stimulate and activate. Connect Covington to the Ohio River, neighborhoods and city. Stimulate Covington’s job growth and create vibrancy through a variety of development. Activate Covington by creating a space for people to gather for community events.
Using the principles, three visions or concepts were created. Each concept includes a mix of residential, commercial (hotel, retail and office) and parking. Green on the Levee has the most green space with a levee park and connecting green space. Love the Covline includes a central public space and has the most residential space at 431 units. Central Green is more linear and has the most office and parking space. It includes a levee park and plaza.
Readers can view the City’s website, www.covingtonky.gov to view the concepts. An 11 question survey is available to indicate support. Cooper Carry is expected to make recommendations in October.
Other guest speakers at the CBC luncheon included Nancy Wood, Public Information Officer at Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 6, who provided an update on the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Holding a footlong piece of rock that fell from the bridge, she explained that a temporary fix with tailor made nettings will be installed next week, allowing the bridge to reopen by July 29. A more permanent plan next year will address drainage and restoration.
Tom West, Economic Development Director for the City of Covington discussed some planning initiatives as follows:
Garner Economics crafted a city-wide strategy that will be rolled out next Tuesday at the City meeting. The targeted industries will be very different from Covington’s previous focus and from those targeted by nearby communities.
Progress is being made to develop a user-friendly neighborhood development code.
A traffic study on making Scott St and Greenup St two ways will be released soon.
The City’s small business program incentives includes a façade improvement program and rent subsidy program. Applications must be received by July 26thto be considered in the next round.
The nonprofit spotlight was Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center with guest speaker Karen Etling. Baker Hunt’s goal is for “art to be available to all”. With over 40 instructions and a 12 student maximum, there’s a wide variety of classes for kids and adults. Their fundraiser, Twilight in the Gardens returns on September 21 and includes music, art and food.
The Covington Business Council is a member based organization whose mission is to promote a positive business environment in Covington. For more information, please contact Pat Frew, Executive Director, at email@example.com or 859-431-1500.
Written by Molly Weaver, Capacity Coordinator, Covington Business Council