Former Covington school building being converted into much needed office space

·2 min read
A rendering of the renovated former Two Rivers Middle School building in Covington, Ky.
A rendering of the renovated former Two Rivers Middle School building in Covington, Ky.

A former school building in Covington is being transformed into office space, with officials expecting the development to generate millions of dollars in tax revenue.

The former Two Rivers Middle School building was built in the early 1900s and has been off the city's tax rolls ever since, but that's about to change, according to Tom West, Covington's economic development director.

The property, located at 525 Scott Blvd., was purchased early last year by the investment group Covington Kentucky Development, led by Guy van Rooyen, who helms the firm that developed Hotel Covington.

On Tuesday, the Covington Board of Commissioners approved a development agreement as well as the issuance of industrial revenue bonds to support the project.

For the term of those bonds, which is 30 years, the developer will save money by only having to pay a percentage of what it would normally pay in property tax, West said.

Over those 30 years, Covington is expected to generate over $7.5 million as a result of the development, mostly stemming from payroll tax revenue, he said, adding a majority of the city's budget is comprised of payroll taxes.

Gateway Community and Technical College, the property's previous owner, had originally planned for the building to be part of its urban campus, a project that fell well short of expectations.

West said the renovation of Two Rivers will bring about 68,000 square feet of office space, something the city desperately needs.

The project has already landed its first corporate tenant. DeanHouston, a Cincinnati-based marketing firm, announced in September that it's moving its global headquarters to Two Rivers.

“We are thrilled, once again, to be restoring a neglected building back to its former glory in the downtown core,” van Rooyen said in a statement at the time. “Our commitment and passion for these restoration projects continues as we bring online another asset to enhance the thriving Covington community.”

West said the company is expected to make the move across the river in the spring. The building is already occupied by the Covington Classical Academy.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Former NKY school being converted into much needed office space

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