Covington Central Riverfront Development


Shock waves reverberated throughout Covington in fall 2016, when the federal government gave a “three-year warning” that it was shutting down the massive IRS data processing facility it had opened in 1967. In its heyday, the facility had employed some 4,000 people, making it the City’s largest employer.


Today, however, the strongest emotions attached to the site are “excitement” and “anticipation.”

Why? The City now owns the complex. It’s 23 acres large, and it sits just a block south of the Ohio River next to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

City officials call it their “chance to reshape the very identity and economics of the city long into its future.” Outside Covington, one East Coast commercial developer called it one of “the most exciting land redevelopment opportunities between Baltimore and New Orleans.”


Having removed asbestos and other hazards from the complex, O’Rourke Wrecking began demolishing the buildings themselves on April 18, 2022. O’Rourke will also rip up asphalt, remove underground fuel tanks, and grade the site. The work will be completed in late autumn. The City will soon hire an engineering and planning firm to design the “horizontal infrastructure” (streets, sidewalks, utilities etc.) to make the site conducive to private developers.



Timeline (as told in news releases):


City leaders have said the site could support a mix of land uses, including office space, a hotel, apartments and condominiums, a levee park, a public plaza, and the possible expansion of the Convention Center. The conceptual master plan and its supporting information can be seen in the links below.

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