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Law Firm Expected to Move Into Long Vacant Covington Building After $11 Million Project

A law firm is expected to bring more than 70 employees with an average salary north of $120,000 to an historic Covington building that has been largely vacant for two decades.

The Covington city commission on Tuesday listened to a presentation on the future plans for what is known as the Monarch Building, named for the tool company that once operated there. The building is located on the 100 block of East Fourth Street between Greenup St. and Scott Blvd and was constructed to house a telephone company.

City officials said Tuesday that they could not identify the law firm that is positioned to move to the site and bring in $1.65 million in new city revenue over the next 15 years, the term of its lease with developer Alan Haehnle. 

The original structure would stay in place with a renovated interior while on the outside a new building would be constructed to wrap around it. 

Rendering after of project after renovation as presented to Covington UDRB last year (RCN file)

It currently has about 10,000 square feet and, following the expansion, offer an additional 20,000 square feet, Covington Economic Development Director Tom West said. 

The development is expected to cost around $11.3 million.

West said that the project would reflect the city's economic development goals by targeting office projects.

The project has already won approval for setback variance from the city's board of adjustment and design requirements from the city's urban design review board.

As part of an incentive package that will be voted on next Tuesday by the city commission, the developer would be the beneficiary of industrial revenue bonds resulting in a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) situation, where for the first fifteen years, 20 percent of the actual property tax would be paid to the city. The package also includes a benefit from the city's tax increment finance (TIF) district as approved by the Covington Economic Development Authority (CEDA) to offer a payroll tax benefit.

Work on the project could begin this spring.

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher