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City to Revoke Economic Development Deal on Pike, Use Eminent Domain on Highway Avenue

A loan approved by the City of Covington nearly a year ago will be taken back after the project failed to get started.

The long-vacant building at 12-14 West Pike Street (pictured above), two doors east of City Hall, was to be developed to include a commercial space on the first floor and and four residential units spread across the three floors.

The project received an $80,000 forgivable loan through the Covington Economic Development Program, established in March of 2013. On Tuesday, the Covington City Commission will vote to repeal the loan after the project stalled, unable to secure private financing, according to the commission agenda.

The $80,000 will be made available for other projects through the fund.

The building sits near a cluster of others that have undergone or are undergoing redevelopment, including the Mutual Building, City Hall, and 2 West Pike where Covington Arts will soon move.

12-14 West Pike Street is also infamous in having been the location of former Northern Kentucky psychiatrist Douglas Rank's assault on a female patient with a sword.

Also on the agenda Tuesday would be a forgivable loan in the amount of $50,000 to improve the facade at 220 West Pike Street. Work has already begun, and Pike Street Associates, an LLC registered to former state senator Joe Meyer, has already won approval from the Covington Economic Development Program for the loan. The developer has also secured private financing and funding from the Catalytic Fund, Duke Energy, and historic tax credits.

City to use eminent domain to acquire property for Riverfront Commons

The city offered owner Meredith Lawrence $81,000 for 830-840-850 Highway Avenue, property that abuts the Ohio River.

Lawrence countered with $1 million.

Now, the city is moving to acquire the property through eminent domain so that the Riverfront Commons project can continue.

Riverfront Commons is a multi-purpose path along the Ohio River that will eventually link all of Northern Kentucky's urban cities from Ludlow in the west to Dayton in the east. The city has already allocated the funds to extend the existing sidewalk and to construct this phase of the project.

Also at City Hall on Tuesday:

-The city will consider approving the placement of merchandise on sidewalks by retailers

-A resolution will honor the 100th anniversary of the Holy Cross elementary school building

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

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