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Covington Eyes Redevelopment Opportunities on Fifth Street

Two buildings on Fifth Street in Downtown Covington may be late additions to Tuesday night's city commission meeting.

The former Bottoms Up bar building, owned by the city, may be sold to two developers hoping to put a chocolate shop called Fortvna on the first floor and at least one residential unit on the upper floors.

The proposed sale price is one dollar.

There are multiple contingencies involved in the sale. The City would hold the first mortgage on the property valued at $17,500 and would release the mortgage once Red Mare Holdings remediates the mold, repairs the roof, and renovates the retail space and opens the business.

The City would hold a long-term lease for three spaces in the adjacent city-owned parking lot.

Red Mare Holdings anticipates using $96,000 of cash on and to rehabilitate the property to historic and community standards within two years and would then lease the storefront to Fortvna.

The City of Covington purchased the troubled Bottoms Up building at 11 East Fifth Street in 2010 after years of complaints by neighbors. The liquor license was transferred to the Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center.

Across the street, the City is also eyeing a purchase of the building that houses Floyd's 7-11 Club which sits next to a city-owned building that once housed a laundromat and the Covington Police bike patrol.

No further details on that planned purchase were immediately available.

This block of Fifth Street, between Madison Avenue and Scott Boulevard, has had ups and downs in recent years. Gateway Community & Technical College moved some of its classes into the Grand inside the former Odd Fellows Hall while Pizza Bomba, a local food truck, opened a bricks and mortar location nearby that closed suddenly during the summer.

The block is also home to a law firm, Club Venus, and the former Greyhound Bus building sits vacant on the southwest corner.

To the east, a pair of blocks on Scott Boulevard are also quietly being revitalized and the Kenton County Public Library is nearing the end of its massive renovation and expansion.

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