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More Covington Properties Slated for Significant Makeover Before Being Sold

A group of well-known local developers are expected to be awarded bids to develop five vacant properties in Covington's Westside neighborhood, near where nearly a dozen other parcels are also poised for redevelopment in a collaboration by the Center for Great Neighborhoods and Orleans Development.

The group, known as the Neighborhood Development Collective (NDC), includes former city commissioner Jordan Huizenga, as well as Joe Stevie (Sparen Real Estate), Tyler Watkins and Melissa Baird (Work Architecture), Christine Wesdorp (Bean & Co.), Tom Covert (Covert Design and Build), Nic Manning (Manning Contracting), and Clyde Kessen (Aged Oak Properties).

Among the projects that the group has performed collectively are the ongoing expansion of Hotel Covington, and multiple individual property rehabs.

As for the Westside project, the five buildings were all offered up as individual projects, though project bidders could group them in various combinations.

NDC submitted a proposal for all of them and won recommendation from city staff.

The Covington city commission is expected to approve the deal on Tuesday night.

Because the properties are historic and purchased with federal funds, they will be subject to renovation in an historically appropriate manner, said Neighborhood Services Director and interim City Manager Ken Smith.

The projects

318 Berry Street is expected to be led by Covert Design & Build. The proposed purchase price is $12,000. It is expected to see an investment of $250,000 as a single-family, two-bedroom, two-bathroom house that is ultimately listed for sale at $315,000.

The building is in such bad shape that people were not allowed to go inside it during pre-bid tours, Smith said.

311-13 Berry St. will be led by Sparen Real Estate with a proposed purchase price of $20,000 and an investment of $465,200. The estimated sale price on the two properties would be $600,000.
311 would be a single-family home with two bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths. 313 would be mixed-use with a one-bed room, one-and-a-half bath home and first-floor commercial space.
1108 and 1110 Locust St. were also joined together over concerns that 1108 was not salvageable. The plan is for 1108 to be torn down, though that would require approval from the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). 
If approved, materials from that structure would be re-purposed for use elsewhere in the overall redevelopment plans. "That may make that something that (SHPO) can live with," Smith said.
The new look of the properties would produce a three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home with a garage. The proposed purchase price is $20,000 with an expected investment of $338,000 led by Bean & Co. The sale price is expected to be $450,000 afterwards.
301-03 Berry St. would be led by Aged Oak Properties at a proposed purchase price of $47,500. The intended investment is $339,000 as it is transformed into a single-family home with four bedrooms and four baths. It would also have two parking spaces. The estimated sale price is $425,000 afterwards. 
In total, the purchase price for the properties is proposed at $99,500 with a $1.4 million investment in the project. In his presentation to the city commission last week, Smith said that the project could lead to an increase in property value of up to $1.8 million which would generate $5,863 annually for the city and $19,260 for the school district through property taxes.
"These are some really great ideas," Mayor Joe Meyer said of the project. "Part of what is so exciting is we have so many people who are already invested in Covington investing in redeveloping this part of our community, both the Collective tonight and the folks from last week. They are all Covington people very familiar with the neighborhood and willing to help take it to the next level."
See slides from the presentation below. 
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher
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