Another sign of Covington’s ‘ascension’

DBL Law Managing Partner Bob Hoffer takes a bite out of the Monarch Building annex. (Photo courtesy of DBL Law)

$11.3MM Monarch Building rehab to create home for DBL Law

COVINGTON, Ky. - With a ferocious bite from an excavator’s “claw,” DBL Law Managing Partner Bob Hoffer ripped off part of a concrete block and brick wall, officially breaking ground on the $11.3 million project that will transform the historic Monarch Building into the new home of Northern Kentucky’s largest law firm.
In a semiprivate but livestreamed ceremony outside the complex at 111-113 E. Fourth St., City of Covington officials helped the law firm, developer Allen Haehnle, and Fedders Construction kick off the project on Thursday.
In DBL’s media release, Covington Mayor Joe Meyer took a historical approach and said the impact of seeing “one of Northern Kentucky’s quintessential law firms” return to the city resonated beyond the confines of the long-vacant building.
“If you consider that the vibrancy of urban areas, like that of civilizations, is not static but rather ebbs and flows, the return of DBL Law is clear evidence that Covington is on its ascension,” Meyer said. “The investment, the jobs, the activation of a vacant building, and the infusion of intellect accelerates the city’s momentum in a big way. We’re extremely excited.”
DBL Law - which is currently located in Crestview Hills - said it expected to move 70 to 80 employees to the new headquarters in fall 2021.
The renovation and move were first announced in February, when the Covington Board of Commissioners approved incentives to help make it happen.
The project activates a historic building that has sat vacant for over 20 years.
As designed by PCA Architecture, the construction work - by a combination of removing, adding, and renovating - will turn the Monarch Building into 34,000-square-feet of class A office space.

The renovated building will include:
  • The addition of two floors, both of which will feature balconies facing the Ohio River.
  • An unobstructed view of the iconic Suspension Bridge into downtown Cincinnati.
  • Construction of a new building just to the west of the existing building.
  • An atrium-like area that will provide an abundance of natural light.
  • Approximately 30 on-premises parking spots. 
The demolition that was symbolically kicked off Thursday is of a garage/annex that at some point was added to the building built in1903 for the Citizens Telephone Company. The site is best known as the former site of the Monarch Tool Co., and historic preservationists say it’s notable as an example of the Beaux Arts style.
Hoffer - who joked about being allowed to operate the excavator, if only for the ceremony - said the move will reconnect DBL Law, which began in Covington more than 60 years ago, with its past.
“The impressive presence of the Monarch Building will be a great complement to DBL Law’s commitment to be present in our community,” Hoffer said. “Not only will we be able to reconnect with our history, the Monarch Building will allow us to build upon our commitment to the community, notably the City of Covington and its important institutions.”
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