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A New Front Door for Northern Kentucky

Northern Kentucky community development organizations are building a signature headquarters facility at the foot of the Roebling Bridge.

by David Holthaus

In addition to the former IRS riverfront site, another long-planned Covington development is moving forward this year. Construction is expected to start soon on the OneNKY Center, a 34,000-square-foot building that will consolidate the offices of key Northern Kentucky economic development and tourism organizations.

The OneNKY Center will be built at the foot of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge in what is now a parking area. When finished, it will house the offices of the OneNKY Alliance, a group of business leaders focused on community growth; the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; tourism agency meetNKY; economic development agency BE-NKY Growth Partnership; the Catalytic Fund of Northern Kentucky, a nonprofit community development financing agency; Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky; and the Northern Kentucky Bar Association. The building will also house the Covington Life Science Lab, an equipped research and development space for bioscience companies that will be shared by early-stage companies.

The center will be owned by the Northern Kentucky Port Authority, a newly reactivated body whose mission is to identify, control and prepare sites for future development. Funding for the $26-million project will come from issuing municipal bonds, state funding that was approved for the life sciences lab, the Catalytic Fund, and community foundations such as the Haile Foundation, Horizon Community Funds, Durr Foundation, and Drees Foundation.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare purchased the land. Covington-based Corporex has been named the design and build contractor. “The location for the OneNKY Center is ideal,” says Jeanne Schroer, CEO of the Catalytic Fund. “It will be a signature building at the front door to Northern Kentucky.”