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Covington to Move City Hall into Bingo Hall

Covington City Hall will move to 20 West Pike Street, currently home to Pike Place Bingo as early as May of this year, it was announced Tuesday night. The current city hall at 638 Madison Avenue is slated to become The Hotel Covington. The city commission approved two items Tuesday night in relation to the planned move.

The city approved a $53,000 contract with Covington-based Moody Nolan architects to create a design plan for its new, temporary location on Pike Street while also approving a rent-free lease agreement for the hotel developers to use a room inside City Hall for planning purposes. 

The developers, the Aparium Hotel Group of Chicago, is working with the Covington-based Salyers Group on The Hotel Covington. The Salyers Group also owns Pike Place Bingo.

 "Working with the Salyers group to renovate two existing historic structures downtown allows us maximum flexibility for what will need to be a quick and seamless move, both for city staff and the public." said City Manager Larry Klein. He added that he spent the past couple weeks talking with city staff to identify the needs of each department. Klein said that the new location will make City Hall more functional and less fragmented.

Pike Place Bingo brings hundreds of people, and possibly more than a thousand, each week to Downtown Covington for games hosted by various charities. The location is also currently home to Sushi Cincinnati and apartments. City Commissioner Steve Frank writes at The River City News Facebook page that the bingo hall has already found a new location and that "the restaurants will stay".

Covington City Hall will be located inside the building for the second time in history. After many years as a J.C. Penney store, the building housed City Hall beginning in 1985 until the city moved into its current location. This time around, Klein expects the city to lease the space for approximately three years before a permanent choice is made. 

Terms of the lease have not yet been finalized but the Salyers Group will handle the build-out of the space per Moody-Nolan's designs.

"We are thrilled to partner with the City of Covington to meet their needs for the city's next home," said Guy van Rooyen, president of the Salyers Group. "Our goals are to develop a space that reflects the progressive and exciting outlook for the City of Covington and provide a contemporary and efficient workspace for city staff." 

Klein said that the decision indicates a commitment to Covington's urban core.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: 20 West Pike Street/RCN