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City Celebrates Groundbreaking of Duveneck Square Project, Welcomes Governor Matt Bevin to Covington

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COVINGTON, KY – This afternoon, the City of Covington celebrated the official groundbreaking of the Duveneck Square project and welcomed Governor Matt Bevin to Covington for the momentous occasion.

Hosted by The Catalytic Fund, City of Covington, NorthPointe Group and Bellwether Enterprise, the Duveneck Square Groundbreaking ceremony took place at Braxton Brewing Company. The ceremony included a brief program featuring speeches from Governor Matt Bevin, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Mayor Sherry Carran, City of Covington, Judge Executive Kris Knochelmann, Kenton County Fiscal Court, Jeanne Schroer, President/CEO of The Catalytic Fund, Lisa Scovic, Partner, NorthPointe Group, Jerry Atkins, Senior Vice President, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital and Bruce Crutcher, Senior Vice President, Investment Commercial Real Estate, First Financial Bank.

Upon the completion of speeches, the ceremony continued outside and included the official groundbreaking of the Duveneck Square project.

Mayor Sherry Carran expressed, “It is a good day in the COV to have arrived at 'groundbreaking day' for the Duveneck Square project, and to have Governor Bevin here to help us celebrate this moment of a project that has been in making since early 2014.”

“Collaboration, patience, focus and quality design has resulted in a project that will be transformational for our City.”

“The City of Covington is appreciative to all involved in making this project possible, especially to Rick Kimbler - Managing Partner of NorthPointe Group and Jerry Atkins - Bellwether Enterprise for their vision and for their investment in our City, and to Jeanne Schroer – The Catalytic Fund for facilitating the many steps along the way.”      

The Duveneck Square project is a four-story, mixed-use urban development project located along Washington Street between 7th and 8th Street, bringing in a new cohort of residents and commercial tenants to the City’s Central Business District.

The project consists of two phases. Phase 1 of the project will produce 110 one bedroom and two bedroom units bringing in a new cohort of residents and commercial tenants to the City’s Central Business District. Upon its completion, Phase 2 construction will commence, producing a parking structure and retail, office and additional residential units.

Governor Matt Bevin said, “By building modern living and commercial spaces, Covington is taking advantage of Duveneck Square’s prime real estate.

“There has been a growing demand in recent years for development of vibrant, urban areas. Projects like this one create a great opportunity for downtown communities to capitalize on that trend. Attraction of businesses and families is the key to revitalization, and I am excited by the upside possibilities that are emerging for Covington.”

The Catalytic Fund and Kenton County both shared their excitement regarding the project and emphasized the tremendous economic impact it will have throughout the City, County and region.

Jeanne Schroer, President/CEO, The Catalytic Fund stated, “Duveneck Square is a transformational project. This large scale market rate residential project demonstrates developer confidence in Covington’s desirability for those seeking a quality urban living experience.  The Catalytic Fund was pleased to facilitate the development of this project in partnership with the City of Covington, Kenton County, and the Covington School Board and has been honored to work with the highly regarded Duveneck developers, NorthPointe and Bellwether as well as their design, development and construction teams.”

Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann elaborated, “The Duveneck Square project is another outstanding addition to our economic development arsenal.  To attract high paying jobs, your community must have high quality amenities, and this project will add to the critical mass of those components coalescing in downtown Covington. This is another good day for economic development in Kenton County.”  

The Duveneck Square project developer NorthPointe Group will develop the four-story, high-end multi-family development in Covington.

Rick Kimbler, Managing Partner, NorthPointe Group shared his enthusiasm stating, “This is an exciting day for the development team as we begin construction of this latest addition to the City of Covington. The City, The Catalytic Fund and our numerous community stakeholders have been very supportive of our development efforts, and we are extremely grateful for that support.”

NorthPointe Group has facilitated numerous projects, including developments in Over-the-Rhine consisting of apartments, condos, office spaces and other commercial/retail use.

Bellwether Enterprise, the full service commercial and multifamily mortgage banking company, worked closely with NorthPointe Group throughout the pre-development process to secure the capital required to move the project forward.

Jerry Atkins, Senior Vice President, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital emphasized the importance of collaboration throughout the process stating, “Pulling together a complex urban development requires the collaboration between so many groups and with Duveneck Square, we were blessed with a team that was committed to get this project done.   The financial commitment of lending partners First Financial Bank and Heritage Bank infused the necessary capital to bring 110 new apartment units and retail to this new hot spot in Covington being developed by NorthPointe Group.   At every step, Catalytic Development Funding Corp., City of Covington, Kenton County, State of Kentucky and Covington Public Schools looked for ways to support the development team. A project three years in the making, Bellwether Enterprise was proud to play a role in delivering the capital solution for the Duveneck Square development.”

Bellwether Enterprise also has provided capital solutions for several other recent urban projects including the Vue and Aqua on the Levee apartment developments in Newport KY; The Whitfield Apartments in Clifton; University Station at Xavier University; and the Empower corporate headquarters project under development in Over-the-Rhine. 

First Financial Bank and Heritage Bank invested in the project, providing it with the opportunity to become a reality.

Bruce Crutcher, Senior Vice President Investment Commercial Real Estate, First Financial stated, “First Financial Bank is pleased to provide the 1st Mortgage financing for the Duveneck Square project. Through the bank’s involvement and support of The Catalytic Fund we have been witness to the unique and exciting opportunities for economic investment and growth in Northern Kentucky and as Duveneck Square represents, in Covington, in particular. The trend for revitalizing our urban core areas is real and ongoing. First Financial is pleased to play our appropriate role.”

Covington Independent Public Schools Superintendent Alvin Garrison stated, “Duveneck Square is a great project for the community. The Covington School Board looks forward to working with the City of Covington on future projects.”

Covington Independent Schools played an integral role in helping the development come to fruition through the approval of a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreement.

City Manager Larry Klein stated, “There’s electricity in the air. This groundbreaking marks an exciting day for Covington. The redevelopment of this underutilized site into market rate housing aligns with the City’s efforts to increase revenue, support and expand local businesses and increase parking opportunities.

“The Duveneck Square project is an overall win. It provides Covington with more market rate housing all the while bringing in more residents and more customers for our local businesses.”

The Duveneck Square project is the first project in a new wave of high-end multi-family developments taking place in Covington, including the 501 Main Street project.

On November 1, the demolition of buildings along Washington Street began, marking the first step in physically redeveloping the site for the mixed use residential and commercial Duveneck Square project.

While the timeline is tentative, the construction period is anticipated to last approximately 14 months. Once completed, residents and businesses are expected to move in between January and February, 2018. To view project design renderings, click here.

The Duveneck Square project was made possible thanks to the collaboration of NorthPointe Group, Bellwether Enterprise, First Financial Bank, Heritage Bank, Messer Construction, The Catalytic Fund, City of Covington, Kenton County and Covington Independent Public Schools.