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County Hopes to Get $3 Million for Former PDS Building

The former home of Planning and Development Services of Kenton County is set to be sold.

The agency vacated the building at 2330 Royal Drive in Fort Mitchell to join other county government departments in the new Kenton County Administration Building on Simon Kenton Way in Covington.

The Kenton County Fiscal Court purchased the Ft. Mitchell building for $1.3 million, paying off bond debt associated with it.

On Friday, the county will put out a request for proposals (RFP) for prospective buyers to purchase the building via sealed bid.

The fiscal court voted unanimously on Tuesday at its meeting in Independence to proceed with that process.

County Administrator Joe Shriver said the county will put a reserve price of $3 million on the property.

"I think it will get that," he told The River City News before Tuesday's meeting. "Between the highway visibility, the sign it has on the property, and the space there, I think you'll get that."

If the reserve price is met, Shriver said the return on the investment would cover the county's purchase price and PDS's rent at the new building.

"There was about $1.3 million in bond debt on it and rather than assuming those, we went ahead and took reserves and paid it off with the understanding we were putting this back on the market. We're going to replace the 1.3 that we paid off the bonds with and that's how it's going to be treated."

The building sits on Royal Drive near the former site of the old Drawbridge Inn, a Northern Kentucky landmark since demolished where Bellevue-based Brandicorp is working with Christ Hospital on a new mixed-use development. Christ also hopes to put a surgical center on the site, but that issue remains tied up in a legal battle with St. Elizabeth Healthcare, which opposes the surgical center on the grounds that there is no need for it in the market.

The building is adjacent to Interstate 71/75 and boasts a tall sign that Shriver believes is attractive to a prospective buyer.

Shriver said the county will work to ensure the building is put back into good use for Fort Mitchell, which lost the payroll tax associated with PDS's employees. "It's like anything else, we've been talking with (Mayor) Jude Hehman and (City Administrator) Sharmili Reddy," he said. "We have a certain process through state law which is a little arcane. We have to take sealed bids for real estate, but we are also not going to do anything to the detriment of Fort Mitchell."

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: Former PDS Building in Fort Mitchell (via Kenton Co. PVA)