COVINGTON, Ky. (Angela Ingram) — Among the projects stalled by the recession was the Renaissance of downtown Covington, but now there’s evidence it’s bouncing back. The old city hall building is becoming an upscale hotel. For months, Covington’s old city hall building has been fenced off with scaffolding covering a lot of it. The historic site at Seventh Street and Madison Avenue is getting a new interior and a new name, Hotel Covington. Mayor Sherry Carran hasn’t been inside since the city administration moved from the building. “I can’t believe all of this was covered over, the columns and the beams. I mean I can just almost picture what it was like back in its heyday,” said Carran. In its prime, it was a department store but now it’ll be a 1.5 million luxury boutique hotel. The Salyers Group is behind the project. “So it’ll have a full service restaurant, bar, patio area,” said Guy van Rooyen, Salyers Group President. He also says the project creates 130 full time jobs. Already changes have been happening nearby, buildings are being rehabbed and new businesses are popping up. The mayor added, “You have the mutual building across the street with Ashley Development, Bill Kreutzjans Junior and that project is amazing. That building was vacant for 20 years and then you have Braxton Brewery that’s going gangbusters.” The same company behind the hotel owns the Madison Event Center across the street. Each year, thousands go to the Madison for weddings. “They needed a place to stay. So we developed something very close obviously and convenient,” said van Rooyen. The hotel is triggering positive growth for the city and that’s something people who live in the area are happy to see. Jeanne Schroer is President and CEO of the Catalytic Development Fund of Northern Kentucky which is investing in the hotel. She has lived in Covington for years. “I am especially proud because Covington as a small municipality doesn’t have a lot of resources to work with as Cincinnati does because it is a big municipal entity. So I think we do a whole lot with a little,” said Schroer. The builders anticipate a 10-12 month construction timeline. They’re hoping to have the hotel doors open by summer of next year. The money for the hotel is coming from multiple sources including private investors and historic tax credits. Follow Angela Ingram on Twitter @newslaw1, and LIKE her on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!

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