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Viewing Covington's Riverfront in a Different Light

Submitted by the Covington Business Council

Hotel guests, residents, and those who work along the Covington riverfront are going to be seeing at first subtle but in the next three years significant changes along RiverCenter Boulevard and Third Street to the north and west of the Internal Revenue Service Center.

In the past several weeks some minor paving and landscaping work took place just west of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, across the street from the IRS thanks to $33,000 in grant funds administered to the Urban Partnership (Covington Business Council Foundation) by the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. US Bank Foundation. The Urban Partnership used the money to hire contractors to pave a parking lot and plant trees along the southern part of RiverCenter Boulevard. Much more is planned in coming years.

This project is named the Public Realm Enhancement Study and is sponsored by meetNKY (the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) and facilitated by the Catalytic Fund and designed by MKSK Design and Planning. The work is in response to tourism industry calls for physical improvements between Covington’s hotels and the Convention Center.

“This is not just about beautification, “ said Eric Summe, Convention Bureau CEO. “Visitors demand a higher quality experience as they walk from their hotels throughout the community.” 

The Study included additional stakeholder groups such as the City of Covington, meetNKY board members and staff, Corporex, Kenton County Fiscal Court, Mainstrasse Village Assocation, the Convention Center, Renaissance Covington, Roebling Point Business Association, and Southbank Partners. The purpose was to illustrate the needs of the tourism and visitor economy within the context of planned community infrastructure and transportation network projects.

Pat Frew Executive Director of the Business Council and Foundation, said his groups look forward to seeing more grant monies as well as CBC revenues going to additional work that will not only include paving and landscaping but also way-finding signage and lighting to make this section of roadway more welcoming.

“The CBC’s mission is to advocate for positive business environment in Covington. These funds will help accomplish this task by beautifying and adding more excitement to the riverfront as we continue to return vitality to the Central Business District.”

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