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Parking, Project Concerns Addressed for Redevelopment of Kent Building

A formal application has been made for the redevelopment of Bellevue's Kent Building.

The sprawling industrial warehouse, owned by local businessman David Hosea, may soon be home to 66 apartment units if Covington-based Orleans Development is permitted to proceed.

A public meeting was held Tuesday night and further details were discussed at the Bellevue city council meeting on Wednesday night.

Orleans president Tony Kreutzjans was on hand to discuss the project which had been smeared by what the city referred to as misinformation after flyers were placed on nearby vehicles warning residents that the development would include section-8 housing.

While the project is still in early development phases, Kreutzjans said that he wanted to hold the forum to address any concerns residents may have early on. The project will go before the city's planning and zoning commission on Monday, September 25 so that it can be changed from T5 zoning, which only allows 22 residential units on the site, to T5.5 zoning, which would allow for unlimited units, according to Scott Enns, Bellevue's planning & zoning director.

“That’s just how it configures out,” Kreutzjans said of the large volume of apartments that would be in the building. “We wanted several different size and shape units, and it gives a nice variety of product.”

Many residents in attendance voiced concern for the parking issues that may ensue from the nearly 100 potential residents of the building.

According to Kreutzjans, there will be 66 on-site parking spots, with an additional parking lot with 22 spaces just over a block away from the building. Enns said that that was part of the zoning requirement, that parking be on-site.

Residents also asked that a traffic survey be done in the area to make sure that the neighborhood can handle the influx of cars that would come with the residential building.

Addressing concerns that the project will be used for section-8 housing, Kreutzjans said that he has never worked with government-subsidized housing and does not intend to.

Orleans Development hopes to attract residents such as millennials, corporate officials newly moving to the area, and empty-nesters with the modern style of the building.

“We looked at all the sources for demand (of new housing) and we looked at places for them to live, and the demand really outweighs the supply,” Jeanne Schroer, president of the Catalytic Fund, said. “We think this is going to be a successful project, especially because it is well priced.”

Rent for the loft apartments will range from around $800 to $1,400 based on the size of the unit.

Orleans Development has completed a number of other similar historic preservation redevelopment projects in Northern Kentucky, including the Boone Block Lofts and Pike Star Lofts in Covington.

Written by Carrie Crotzer, RCN contributor
Michael Monks contributed to this report
Photo: The Kent Building