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Mainstrasse Corner to Be Renamed by City & More from Commission Agenda

UPDATE: The city commission meeting will begin with a town hall forum at 5 p.m. to duscuss recent flooding. For details, click here.

UPDATE: Tuesday's meeting will also include a presentation on the possible redevelopment of the Stewart Iron Works building and the former Robke Chevrolet site. For details, click here.

ORIGINAL POST:

The folks behind Piper's Cafe will have their corner of Sixth & Philadelphia Streets recognized by the City of Covington as Hamelin Square.

Village Idiot, LLC, operated by Charles Killian, owns the property at 526-535 Philadelphia and told The River City News in March 2012 that he hoped to re-brand the corner Hamelin Square, an homage to the Pied Piper of Hamelin story which plays regularly atop the Carroll Chimes Bell Tower in Goebel Park across the street.

The building is currently home to Piper's Cafe operated by Killian and Chip Adkins, Matthew Andrews Photography, Lulu White, and Scooter Media.

"Ideally, all first-floor businesses at Hamelin Square will be retail and merchandise stores," Killian said in March 2012.

Piper's, which was recently featured by a national payment processing company for its use of an innovative technology, will soon add a coffee shop to its offerings.

The City of Covington City Commission will consider an order/resolution at its meeting on Tuesday that will recognize 525-536 Philadelphia Street as Hamelin Square.

Another item on the agenda is directly related to Village Idiot, LLC. The commission will consider an agreement that accept an easement on the property for the purposes of constructing a sign kiosk at the corner.

"A large part of the marketing component as added value includes branding and signage," Killian said last year.

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Kiosk in Mainstrasse Village on Sixth Street

Other items on the city commission agenda:

PARKING LEASE AGREEMENT FOR MUTUAL BUILDING DEVELOPMENT

The city commission will consider a development agreement and parking lease with Mutual Building, LLC which is undertaking the redevelopment of the long (Mostly) vacant Mutual Building at the corner of Pike Street & Madison Avenue in Downtown Covington. The building will feature apartment units on the second and third floors and commercial spaces on the first floor. No details were immediately available but the deal likely includes parking access inside a city-owned garage, the closest of which is the Center City Garage behind City Hall.

PROPERTY TAX MORATORIUM FOR BUILDING UNDER DEVELOPMENT

A long vacant building on the 200 block of West Pike Street is undergoing a full rehabilitation and on Tuesday the city commission will consider an order/resolution approving a property tax moratorium for Pike Street Associates, LLC which is turning the old, empty building into an apartment unit on the upper floors and a commercial space on the first floor. The building was recently featured in a profile of the up-and-coming block in an article by The River City News titled, One Block Awaits Transition, which includes a look at the surrounding developments.

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220 West Pike Street

RIVERFRONT COMMONS DESIGN WORK TO BEGIN

The long-awaited riverfront recreational development known as Riverfront Commons, an ambitious project that would stretch across multiple Northern Kentucky River Cities, will hit the design phase in Covington. The city commission will consider a bid from Woolpert, Inc for design services in an amount not to exceed $328,100, paid for from the city's capital improvements fund. This portion of the project that will undergo design starts at the base of Greenup Street and extends west to Kentucky Route 8.

A request for proposals for potential designers was approved in February. At that meeting, Jack Moreland, head of Southbank Partners which has led the efforts to develop Riverfront Commons, explained the difficulties that the massive development faces.

"Let me say what the Army Corps of Engineers can't," Moreland said at the time. "It's going to take some political influence to put us at the head of the class and it's going to take all of us." Moreland recommends that the river cities work together with a strength in numbers strategy to get representatives in Washington, DC behind the need for the project and the necessary work on the crumbling Riverside Drive.  "We are going to have to exercise some of our political muscles."

Assistant city manager Larisa Sims explained that by soliciting design work for the designated portion of the project, alternative funding sources outside the federal government could be more effectively explored. 

In June, the City of Covington was awarded $481,600 from the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments and will contribute $120,400 for a total project cost of $602,000 that will help implement a path from near Covington Landing to Crescent Avenue, related to Riverfront Commons.

CAROLINE UNDERPASS CONSTRUCTION BID TO BE AWARDED

The reconstruction of Caroline Avenue in Latonia is closer to reality. The city commission will consider the low bid of Larry Smith, Inc to perform the work in a contract worth $616,660. $480, 240 of that amount will come from OKI, $55,000 from federal funds, $12,460 from the city's capital improvements fund, and $67,460 from Sanitation District 1.

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Map of Latonia where Caroline Ave is.

OTHER NOTES: 

  • Behringer-Crawford Museum will get news windows, shutters, and paint. The amount of money to be used for the work was not made public yet, neither was the winning bid. The money will come from the Devou Park Master Plan funds.
  • Covington Police Department will add two new officers
  • Marie Braun will be reappointed to the Covington Human Rights Commission
  • The Kenton Co. Boys & Girls Club will get pool management and two life guards from the city at a cost of $14,000

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

Photo: Piper's Cafe/file