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Downtown Residential Project Seeks City of Covington Investment

The historic Bradford Building at the corner of 4th Street and Scott Boulevard in Covington could be the next major downtown residential project, pending a $500,000 investment from the Covington Economic Development Authority (CEDA), as approved by the city commission.

CEDA is a separate non-profit, non-stock corporation created to act on behalf of the City for the financing of public projects, according to the city.

The building has been vacant for more than a decade and needs major upgrades both inside and out. Once complete, the building would house five for-sale condominiums and five street level commercial units.

The proposed development, led by Orleans Development, which has completed such downtown projects as the Boone Block Lofts, Pike Star Lofts, and Market Lofts, was presented for consideration at last week's Covington city commission caucus meeting.

Ross Patten, economic development specialist for the city, said $350,000 funded by the city would go towards helping make facade improvements to the building.

The additional $150,000 would go towards filling in a portion of the basement of the Bradford Building that extends under the current sidewalk and making streetscape improvements on the same block of that building.

The Bradford Building development timeline

September, 2013The River City News profiles a local architect who said the long-abandoned building could be redeveloped Click Here

October, 2016: The Catalytic Fund announces that it has created an LLC that has purchased the property Click Here

November, 2016: Covington-based architects Hub + Weber create a rendering for what the Bradford could look like Click Here

April, 2017The River City News offers a photo tour of the former strip club once located on the ground level Click Here

The building was purchased last year by the Catalytic Fund, which has provided gap financing opportunities and other strategies for nearly every major downtown Covington renovation project in the past five years.

Currently, part of the proposed agreement states that the city would agree to complete the streetscape project within 24 months, that way tenants of the building wouldn’t have to deal with street construction once they move in.

However, city commissioners Jordan Huizenga and Michelle Williams had concerns over the city committing to the timeline because they frequently run behind on projects, and proposed that the city fund Orleans Development ahead of time, and the developer can complete the project on its timeline.

Catalytic Fund president & CEO Jeanne Schroer said that she had concerns over doing it that way because Orleans doesn’t frequently deal with street and sidewalk projects.

The proposed development was expected to be discussed at Tuesday night's regular city commission meeting.

Covington-based Orleans Development would be the general contractor for the project with support from The Catalytic Fund, both of which will be investing money into the project along with bank loans covering a majority of the project.

Correction: An earlier version of this article reported that the building project was not on Friday's draft agenda for the city commission meeting. It was in fact on the agenda. RCN regrets the error.

Written by Carrie Crotzer, RCN contributor
Photo: Rendering of Bradford Building post-renovation (by Hub + Weber)