$26M downtown Covington office project to begin construction this summer
Nine future-focused growth organizations are already committed as tenants.
COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - The future of Northern Kentucky will be planned, fueled and in large part decided at a new building in downtown Covington beginning next year.
The OneNKY Center is a multi-story, 43,000 sq.ft. Class A office building with 44 underground parking spaces located at the foot of the Roebling Suspension Bridge.
It’s the signature project of the fledgling OneNKY Alliance and the capstone in a recent large-scale reshuffling of Northern Kentucky’s economic development resources.
Construction will begin this summer. Covington-based Corporex has the design-build contract.
The $26 million project will be funded in part by $10 million in construction bonds, approved by the Kenton County Fiscal Court last week. The bonds will be underwritten by Compass Municipal Advisors.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare purchased the land, and added funding will come from the Haile Foundation, Horizon Community Funds, the Durr Foundation, the Drees Foundation and the Covington Life Sciences Lab. The Catalytic Fund led the funding efforts.
“The location for the OneNKY Center is ideal,” Catalytic Fund CEO Jeanne Schroer said. “It will be a signature building at the front door to NKY.”
The Northern Kentucky Port Authority will own the building, which is 93 percent leased. Nine tenants are committed:
- The OneNKY Alliance;
- Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce;
- BE NKY Growth Partnership;
- The Catalytic Fund of Northern Kentucky;
- Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky;
- the Northern Kentucky Bar Association, and;
- the Covington Life Sciences Partners, Inc. (CLSP).
meetNKY President and CEO Julie Kilpatrick described the building as a “unique collaborative space” that will “allow greater synergies between all the NKY growth organizations focused on showcasing the region as a great place to work, live and visit.”
Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann said bringing all the organizations under one roof will lead to efficiency gains. “As we work to create a thriving and prosperous Northern Kentucky, we need every component of our community operating at the highest level, and the OneNKY Center will help us achieve that,” he said.
The building has been in development since the Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance formed of various regional growth organizations in 2017. The coalition rebranded as the OneNKY Alliance two years later. Around the same time, local leaders began laying the groundwork for the NKPA to become an active player in local economic development. It assumed that role formally in June 2022.
Karen Finan, president and CEO of OneNKY Alliance, said it’s been ”exhilarating” to watch the coalition take shape and now bear fruit.
“This project has been an important initiative for many key Northern Kentucky organizations over the past four years and now, we cannot wait to see what happens next,” she said.
The coalition has ambitious visions for the future—a booming local economy, huge population growth, broad-based educational attainment and a region that’s among the healthiest in the country. OneNKY aims to realize those visions with advocacy at the local, state and federal level, presenting a national model for regional cooperation.
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