Apartments in Doctors Building, Hotel Agreement Approved
Two months after the announcement that the Salyers Group would be developing City Hall into The Hotel Covington comes news that the family-owned business will also be developing the long vacant upper floors of a building across the street into residential units. The Doctors Building on the corner of Seventh Street & Scott Boulevard has not had tenants on its upper floors in three decades. That will change once the Salyers Group's plans for twelve one-bedroom apartments comes to fruition.
Scott Salyers, the company's vice president, tells The River City News that while the first-floor retail spaces have been consistently used, the building has never been used for residences. During the development, Garden Grove Organics, the only retail operation in the building currently, will be doubling in size, consuming much of the first floor. A common entrance will be created on the Seventh Street side of the building for the twelve units above.
"In two years we're looking for a complete revitalization for Downtown Covington, a retail and entertainment destination" said Guy Van Rooyen, president of the Salyers Group. "It's going to look and feel like Covington should have for a long time."
The Salyers Group is playing a significant role in the future of the city's Downtown area. The $25 million boutique hotel being developed with the Chicago-based Aparium Group will be a natural fit next to the Madison Events Center across the street. The Salyers also developed that facility inside the former Woolworth's building and it is directly responsible for more than three-thousand hotel room bookings in the region every year according to statistics presented at City Hall Tuesday night. The family is also responsible for the Fabulous Bridal building and the Wedding Mall, which will be part of the new hotel, on Madison Avenue.
The city commission unanimously approved the restructuring of loans that the Salyers Group has used as part of their development projects. Currently the Salyers Group has an outstanding loan of nearly $250,000 for other projects and roughly that amount of money is being offered by the city through its upper floor residential rehab loans, balancing out the amount. Each of the twelve proposed units in the Doctors Building qualified for approximately $18,000 in the rehab program.
The development of The Hotel Covington is expected to generate $3 million for the city's coffers while creating 125 full-time jobs. The development agreement between the Salyers Group and the city for the hotel was also approved Tuesday night. Part of the complicated financing plans include the anticipated use of an industrial bond.
The support for Downtown Covington by the Salyers Group is evident in the name chosen for the hotel. "It would have been easier to go with a W (hotel) or a Sheraton," Van Rooyen told the city commission, adding that the developers wanted to create an independent hotel project instead. "We think it's incredibly important that we stamp this brand with the City of Covington."
The looming resurgence of Downtown Covington is key to the success of all the planned projects. "We've got such an exciting opportunity here," Van Rooyen said. "The new attitude in City Hall made all the difference."
Scott Salyers says that the first round of demolition inside the Doctors Building could begin in the first quarter of next year after the company finalizes historic tax credits and other issues.