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Not Happening: Smart Car Dealership Planned for Covington's Ascent

A planned Smart Car dealership that was to open in the retail space on the first floor of the Ascent luxury condo tower is now off the table, The River City News has exclusively learned.

RCN reported in January that the site was being considered for a zoning change to allow for the dealership which would have been owned by Bernie Moreno who operates the new Mercedes dealership in Ft. Mitchell along with other dealerships in the northeast.

The Covington City Commission offered its blessing in March.

But when Moreno was interviewed by The River City News in February, he said his plans were contingent upon approval of Mercedes which owns the Smart Car line. The company decided not to move forward.

"It is Mercedes-Benz USA's decision to not add an additional Smart dealership in this market at this time," said Don Paparella, managing partner of Mercedes-Benz of Ft. Mitchell, in a statement to RCN. "If and when that changes, we would pursue the strategies we had planned for Covington and the community."

Moreno expressed his enthusiasm for the potential in Covington and owns a residence in the city.

"I feel it's a great spot because the Smart Car is a phenomenal city vehicle and Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is becoming an urban center again," Moreno said in February. "I think that's a huge part of the equation now that the market is right for a great urban vehicle."

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

Photo: Proposed location for nixed Smart Car dealership/RCN

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