O’Rourke Wrecking continues to demolish the IRS site. This view is taken from RiverCenter Boulevard, looking south.
Grant to help pay for design of roads, sidewalks, utilities
COVINGTON, Ky. – The City of Covington has secured another piece of funding for the redevelopment of the 23-acre site downtown that once housed a sprawling IRS data-processing facility.
The $1.8 million grant comes from a federal agency – specifically the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce – as part of American Rescue Plan funds.
It will be matched with about $450,000 in local funds to pay for the engineering, architectural and design work on the site’s horizontal infrastructure, which consists of all the foundation for development, including restoration of a street grid that was erased in the 1960s when the City assembled 161 parcels and sold the site to the federal government for $1. Other horizontal infrastructure includes sidewalks, water, sanitary and storm sewers, gas and electric, telecommunications, and parking.
The exact total of the grant is $1,796,105, with the local match being $449,027.
“This grant is another critical piece in a network of funding that will wind up including local, state, and federal sources, as well as private capital,” City Manager Ken Smith said. “We’re moving full speed ahead on preparing the site for the buildings that will go on it, and we want to do so in a comprehensive, holistic way that not only ties the site together but also weaves it into the surrounding neighborhoods and business districts and the Ohio River itself.”
The City put out a request for proposals for architectural and design firms earlier this spring and expects to approve a contract soon.
To see a previous release about the search for a design firm, and to learn about the history and future of the site, technically called the Covington Central Riverfront Development, click the City’s IRS WEBPAGE.
Excavators and dump trucks from O’Rourke Wrecking are in the process of demolishing the buildings on the site and will soon turn to the pavement and sidewalks.
The grant, which the City applied for, is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program.
“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan helps communities tackle the economic challenges that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic,” Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said in the Department’s release. “This EDA investment will support business expansion in Covington, creating jobs in the region and promoting economic resiliency.”
Also in the release, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear praised Covington as an economic leader:
“The economic impact that Covington has in Northern Kentucky, and Kentucky as a whole, is immense,” Gov. Beshear said. “To ensure that we turn these two years of economic progress into 20 years of prosperity, we must invest in our infrastructure – for companies looking to locate or expand in the Commonwealth, but also for our families who live here. By working together, we will build a better Kentucky for generations to come.”
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