Three-story property being developed
COVINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 28, 2015) — David Vissman has been awarded a $10,000 grant to help revitalize storefront space in Covington’s Central Business District. Vissman is developing a three-story property at 12-14 West Pike just west of Madison Avenue.
The grant is part of the Commercial Whitebox Program, a partnership between the Covington Business Council, the Urban Partnership, the Catalytic Funding Corporation of Northern Kentucky and the Duke Energy Foundation.
Currently, there are 22 storefronts in the block of West Pike with eight vacant. Retail vacancy rates generally have a close tie to unemployment which ultimately has a negative effect on the local economy.
CBC/UP executive director Pat Frew said the program was developed to encourage reinvestment and ignite further interest in downtown Covington.
“What happens when these storefronts sit vacant, and some of them have been empty a decade or more, it has a chilling effect on outsiders views of the area and can deter potential developers and investors from entering in to improve the situation, Frew said. “And building owners can feel discouraged about getting a return on investment from the cost of making these storefronts inhabitable. We hope to direct more efforts like this to continue all the positive momentum that Covington has seen such as the development of the nearby Mutual Building, Hotel Covington, Braxton Brewery and more.”
“Whiteboxing” can involve HVAC, electrical, plumbing, bathrooms, wall and ceiling restoration. As part of the program the developer must at least match the grant. Candidates were selected by a committee comprised of CBC, Renaissance Covington and Catalytic Fund representatives.
Vissman is still in the construction phase of rehabilitating the building. He says the second floor of the building is slated to be used as a photography studio with the third floor space to be residential.