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Old October 23rd, 2008, 04:51 AM   #21
shmeedt
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What is that creek/river seperating Newport and Covington? Somehow I never noticed it until I went there recently. Do you have any pics of the historical parts of Northern Kentucky, the parts I saw were very well preserved.
That's the Licking River. It's a pretty long river.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #22
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Convention center hits wall
Timing, location make expansion difficult
By Keith T. Reed, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 23, 2008

COVINGTON - Officials are deciding how much money to request from the Kentucky Legislature to expand the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, which they say is in need of an upgrade.

In Kentucky's 2007-08 fiscal year, the agencies that operate the center requested $51 million from the state to buy land and expand the center. The proposal was included in a planning budget before a change in administrations derailed the effort.

Even aiming at a much lower target has failed. A request for the current fiscal year for $3 million to fund an expansion feasibility study failed.

Officials are wrestling with how to keep the plan alive in the 2009-10 budget, which takes effect in July. A dour economy will likely leave state coffers too lean to spare the full $51 million. Those factors have left executives looking for a middle ground.

"We have to really sit and talk with our board and talk with our lobbyists and see what they think is possible," said Tom Caradonio, president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The 9-year-old facility has been touted as an economic engine responsible for bringing more than 1,700 events to the area and pumping $784 million into the local economy. But officials say the center must grow to retain many of the same conventions.

Caradonio said that over the years, the convention center has lost out on conventions that would have combined to fill 180,000 hotel room-nights because it was either booked by another group or couldn't handle a group's size. The room-night figure is figured as each night one person would have stayed in a hotel while here for a convention. Had it won even half that business, Caradonio estimates, it would have been worth an additional $88 million to the area's economy based on figures through the end of 2007.

Expanding the center won't be an easy task, even if the money were there. It is virtually landlocked, flanked by a hotel, parking garage and offices.

Jay Fossett, Covington's city manager and a convention center board member, said there are at least three places where the convention center could be expanded, but they all come with stumbling blocks.

An expansion could be built to the center's northwest, on a city-owned riverfront parcel next to a Marriott hotel and an office building. But that land is already being eyed for a part of green space that would link Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton and Ludlow along the Ohio River.

To the east, across Madison Street, is a parcel owned by developer Corporex Corp. But Corporex has considered building two hotels on that lot.

The best option would be to expand to the south, on land owned by the Internal Revenue Service, Fossett said.

But IRS' plans must be resolved first. The agency employs about 4,000 people, making it one of Covington's largest employers and a priority for the city to retain.

It occupies offices and has a parking lot immediately to the center's south and next year is expected to decide whether to stay in those offices or relocate.

"Everything hinges upon what the IRS wants to do," Fossett said. "We won't know until sometime next year."
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Old December 5th, 2008, 08:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by seicer View Post
Convention center hits wall
Timing, location make expansion difficult
By Keith T. Reed, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 23, 2008

COVINGTON - Officials are deciding how much money to request from the Kentucky Legislature to expand the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, which they say is in need of an upgrade.

In Kentucky's 2007-08 fiscal year, the agencies that operate the center requested $51 million from the state to buy land and expand the center. The proposal was included in a planning budget before a change in administrations derailed the effort.

Even aiming at a much lower target has failed. A request for the current fiscal year for $3 million to fund an expansion feasibility study failed.

Officials are wrestling with how to keep the plan alive in the 2009-10 budget, which takes effect in July. A dour economy will likely leave state coffers too lean to spare the full $51 million. Those factors have left executives looking for a middle ground.

"We have to really sit and talk with our board and talk with our lobbyists and see what they think is possible," said Tom Caradonio, president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The 9-year-old facility has been touted as an economic engine responsible for bringing more than 1,700 events to the area and pumping $784 million into the local economy. But officials say the center must grow to retain many of the same conventions.

Caradonio said that over the years, the convention center has lost out on conventions that would have combined to fill 180,000 hotel room-nights because it was either booked by another group or couldn't handle a group's size. The room-night figure is figured as each night one person would have stayed in a hotel while here for a convention. Had it won even half that business, Caradonio estimates, it would have been worth an additional $88 million to the area's economy based on figures through the end of 2007.

Expanding the center won't be an easy task, even if the money were there. It is virtually landlocked, flanked by a hotel, parking garage and offices.

Jay Fossett, Covington's city manager and a convention center board member, said there are at least three places where the convention center could be expanded, but they all come with stumbling blocks.

An expansion could be built to the center's northwest, on a city-owned riverfront parcel next to a Marriott hotel and an office building. But that land is already being eyed for a part of green space that would link Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton and Ludlow along the Ohio River.

To the east, across Madison Street, is a parcel owned by developer Corporex Corp. But Corporex has considered building two hotels on that lot.

The best option would be to expand to the south, on land owned by the Internal Revenue Service, Fossett said.

But IRS' plans must be resolved first. The agency employs about 4,000 people, making it one of Covington's largest employers and a priority for the city to retain.

It occupies offices and has a parking lot immediately to the center's south and next year is expected to decide whether to stay in those offices or relocate.

"Everything hinges upon what the IRS wants to do," Fossett said. "We won't know until sometime next year."
Quote:
Originally Posted by seicer View Post
Convention center hits wall
Timing, location make expansion difficult
By Keith T. Reed, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 23, 2008

COVINGTON - Officials are deciding how much money to request from the Kentucky Legislature to expand the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, which they say is in need of an upgrade.

In Kentucky's 2007-08 fiscal year, the agencies that operate the center requested $51 million from the state to buy land and expand the center. The proposal was included in a planning budget before a change in administrations derailed the effort.

Even aiming at a much lower target has failed. A request for the current fiscal year for $3 million to fund an expansion feasibility study failed.

Officials are wrestling with how to keep the plan alive in the 2009-10 budget, which takes effect in July. A dour economy will likely leave state coffers too lean to spare the full $51 million. Those factors have left executives looking for a middle ground.

"We have to really sit and talk with our board and talk with our lobbyists and see what they think is possible," said Tom Caradonio, president and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The 9-year-old facility has been touted as an economic engine responsible for bringing more than 1,700 events to the area and pumping $784 million into the local economy. But officials say the center must grow to retain many of the same conventions.

Caradonio said that over the years, the convention center has lost out on conventions that would have combined to fill 180,000 hotel room-nights because it was either booked by another group or couldn't handle a group's size. The room-night figure is figured as each night one person would have stayed in a hotel while here for a convention. Had it won even half that business, Caradonio estimates, it would have been worth an additional $88 million to the area's economy based on figures through the end of 2007.

Expanding the center won't be an easy task, even if the money were there. It is virtually landlocked, flanked by a hotel, parking garage and offices.

Jay Fossett, Covington's city manager and a convention center board member, said there are at least three places where the convention center could be expanded, but they all come with stumbling blocks.

An expansion could be built to the center's northwest, on a city-owned riverfront parcel next to a Marriott hotel and an office building. But that land is already being eyed for a part of green space that would link Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton and Ludlow along the Ohio River.

To the east, across Madison Street, is a parcel owned by developer Corporex Corp. But Corporex has considered building two hotels on that lot.

The best option would be to expand to the south, on land owned by the Internal Revenue Service, Fossett said.

But IRS' plans must be resolved first. The agency employs about 4,000 people, making it one of Covington's largest employers and a priority for the city to retain.

It occupies offices and has a parking lot immediately to the center's south and next year is expected to decide whether to stay in those offices or relocate.

"Everything hinges upon what the IRS wants to do," Fossett said. "We won't know until sometime next year."
is this still a live?
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Old December 8th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #24
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Projects near NKU go ahead
But some slowing as tenants hesitate to commit
By Scott Wartman, Kentucky Enquirer, December 8, 2008

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - Some developers of planned shopping and residential developments around Northern Kentucky University and its new arena expect to start construction in 2009.

The economy has slowed some of the projects, but the 10,000-seat Bank of Kentucky Center and the growth at NKU have kept developers interested in that section of the U.S. 27 corridor.

The Highland Heights City Council earlier this year approved several projects, including two retail developments and an apartment complex for 400 students.

The Thriftway that sat vacant for several years along U.S. 27 in front of NKU was torn down during the summer to make way for a retail/office development that might include a hotel.

In the next three months, Highland Heights Planning and Zoning will likely get Stage II plans for two shopping centers - one in the center of Highland Heights on a parcel of land known as "The Island" and the other at the interchange of U.S. 27 and Interstate 471, said Steve Crawford, chair of Campbell County Planning and Zoning.

The Island - officially called Highland Crossing - could have shops by the end of 2009, said Joe Hodge, a partner with the developer Edge Real Estate. Construction will start late spring, Hodge said. The developer hasn't signed tenants for the 12,900-square-foot shopping center, which will be built on the 2.1 acres between the old and new Alexandria pikes across from NKU.

Many businesses have slowed or halted opening new locations in the current economic climate, Hodge said. Edge is negotiating with five or six tenants that include restaurants, a medical user and retailers, Hodge said.

The economy prompted some potential tenants, including a coffee shop, to stop discussions about moving into Highland Crossing, Hodge said.

"Good real estate will still bring in good tenants," Hodge said. "I'm highly optimistic. Obviously the location of the property is an asset. Hopefully there will be a settling of the economy soon."

The developer of the retail development at the city's Gateway West area where I-471 dead ends into U.S. 27 couldn't be reached for comment.

Towne Properties bought about four acres there to build three commercial buildings. Towne Properties transferred the development to Midland Retail to build and market, said Brad Austing, vice president of Towne Properties.

The former Thriftway site could become a hub of commerce with plans to build retail and office space as well as a hotel.

The NKU Foundation bought the property in 2000 and is working with developer Corporex on designs for the site, said Foundation Executive Director Karen Zerhusen Kruer. The foundation is responsible for accepting and managing funds raised to support NKU.

By the end of January, Kruer hopes to have feasibility and financing plans for the project complete.

"The good news is that we are moving forward in the current environment," Kruer said. "We feel this is something the community needs."

Construction will begin next summer on apartments for 400 students, said Brian Jones, vice president of development for Collegiate Development. Collegiate Development has drawn up plans to develop 172 apartments for students on 10 acres owned by Asbury United Methodist Church near NKU.

Collegiate Development and the church continue to negotiate, Jones said. If construction starts next summer, the apartments would be completed in fall 2010, he said. The economy and market won't likely impact the construction of the complex, Jones said.

"The student housing business, I wouldn't say it is recession-proof, but it is more recession-resistant than other industries," Jones said. "Generally when the economy goes south, people go back to school."

Highland Heights could become a destination for retail and dining if the developments live up to their potential, Mayor Greg Meyers said. In anticipation, Meyers would like more pedestrian links to the different areas of Highland Heights. U.S. 27 bisects the east and west ends of the city.

A pedestrian bridge that would link Highland Crossing with the former Thriftway property would be a prized addition, Meyers said.

"I think people will think of us as a community on the move, a community with a town center that is thriving," Meyers said. "People can come in and enjoy our city and spend the night."
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Old December 10th, 2008, 08:57 AM   #25
MetroMax
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Originally Posted by seicer View Post
Projects near NKU go ahead
But some slowing as tenants hesitate to commit
By Scott Wartman, Kentucky Enquirer, December 8, 2008

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - Some developers of planned shopping and residential developments around Northern Kentucky University and its new arena expect to start construction in 2009.

The economy has slowed some of the projects, but the 10,000-seat Bank of Kentucky Center and the growth at NKU have kept developers interested in that section of the U.S. 27 corridor.

The Highland Heights City Council earlier this year approved several projects, including two retail developments and an apartment complex for 400 students.

The Thriftway that sat vacant for several years along U.S. 27 in front of NKU was torn down during the summer to make way for a retail/office development that might include a hotel.

In the next three months, Highland Heights Planning and Zoning will likely get Stage II plans for two shopping centers - one in the center of Highland Heights on a parcel of land known as "The Island" and the other at the interchange of U.S. 27 and Interstate 471, said Steve Crawford, chair of Campbell County Planning and Zoning.

The Island - officially called Highland Crossing - could have shops by the end of 2009, said Joe Hodge, a partner with the developer Edge Real Estate. Construction will start late spring, Hodge said. The developer hasn't signed tenants for the 12,900-square-foot shopping center, which will be built on the 2.1 acres between the old and new Alexandria pikes across from NKU.

Many businesses have slowed or halted opening new locations in the current economic climate, Hodge said. Edge is negotiating with five or six tenants that include restaurants, a medical user and retailers, Hodge said.

The economy prompted some potential tenants, including a coffee shop, to stop discussions about moving into Highland Crossing, Hodge said.

"Good real estate will still bring in good tenants," Hodge said. "I'm highly optimistic. Obviously the location of the property is an asset. Hopefully there will be a settling of the economy soon."

The developer of the retail development at the city's Gateway West area where I-471 dead ends into U.S. 27 couldn't be reached for comment.

Towne Properties bought about four acres there to build three commercial buildings. Towne Properties transferred the development to Midland Retail to build and market, said Brad Austing, vice president of Towne Properties.

The former Thriftway site could become a hub of commerce with plans to build retail and office space as well as a hotel.

The NKU Foundation bought the property in 2000 and is working with developer Corporex on designs for the site, said Foundation Executive Director Karen Zerhusen Kruer. The foundation is responsible for accepting and managing funds raised to support NKU.

By the end of January, Kruer hopes to have feasibility and financing plans for the project complete.

"The good news is that we are moving forward in the current environment," Kruer said. "We feel this is something the community needs."

Construction will begin next summer on apartments for 400 students, said Brian Jones, vice president of development for Collegiate Development. Collegiate Development has drawn up plans to develop 172 apartments for students on 10 acres owned by Asbury United Methodist Church near NKU.

Collegiate Development and the church continue to negotiate, Jones said. If construction starts next summer, the apartments would be completed in fall 2010, he said. The economy and market won't likely impact the construction of the complex, Jones said.

"The student housing business, I wouldn't say it is recession-proof, but it is more recession-resistant than other industries," Jones said. "Generally when the economy goes south, people go back to school."

Highland Heights could become a destination for retail and dining if the developments live up to their potential, Mayor Greg Meyers said. In anticipation, Meyers would like more pedestrian links to the different areas of Highland Heights. U.S. 27 bisects the east and west ends of the city.

A pedestrian bridge that would link Highland Crossing with the former Thriftway property would be a prized addition, Meyers said.

"I think people will think of us as a community on the move, a community with a town center that is thriving," Meyers said. "People can come in and enjoy our city and spend the night."
sweet post. thanks
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Old December 11th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #26
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I seriously considered NKU because I had a full ride, but the campus looks like a prison, and I was not about to enter their Musical Theatre program, though it is improving... I think more than anything, I hated the fact that I would need a car to get anywhere. I didnt even bring my car to Pittsburgh. What would I need it for? I go to school in a skyscraper!

Still, NKU is certainly on its way up, and the construction is very encouraging. I think the state really needs NKU to step up and fill the demand for certain programs in the state, such as performing arts. Kentucky loses so many creative and progressive young individuals because arts programs in general at in-state schools simply are not on par(save for instrumental music at UofL and UK). If there had been even a somewhat reputable Theatre program in Kentucky, I would have stayed. As it stands, I and all of my peers have ended up studying in Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, NYC, Florida, Ohio, Tennesse, Colorado, Oklahoma, hell you name it. Strong arts programs attract students from around the country. Kentucky is losing artists out its ass, and a lot of these progressive, intelligent minds dont return, unfortunately.

So in short, I think NKU is doing good things.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 09:50 PM   #27
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Bids for garage will be opened Monday
But Covington commissioners not sure they will sell
By Mike Rutledge, Kentucky Enquirer, December 14, 2008

COVINGTON - An envelope to be opened Monday morning in a fourth-floor City Hall conference room could mean millions of dollars for city government and Northern Kentucky developer Corporex Cos.

That envelope will reveal how much Corporex and possibly other firms are willing to pay for the approximately 900-space parking garage beneath the Riverfront Embassy Suites Hotel and two RiverCenter office towers.

At their final regularly scheduled meeting of the year the next evening, city commissioners are expected to vote on the garage's sale.

"We might have an executive session on Tuesday, depending on what the bids say, to discuss it, and hopefully, we'll vote on it (afterward)," said city Commissioner Jerry Stricker, the city's leading advocate of a sale.

City officials have said estimates have placed the garage's value anywhere in the range of $4 million-plus to $7.5 million, depending on what method is used to evaluate the facility's revenues.

Proponents of a sale, including Stricker, argue the city has badly managed the garage and should leave the property-ownership business. An estimated $1.5 million in delayed repairs are needed to make needed improvements and stop the garage's deterioration.

Corporex officials have said they want to buy the garage because the city has let it and the public plaza above it become so shabby that it has harmed their ability to attract and keep clients.

Opponents of a sale, including Commissioner Sherry Carran and Mayor-elect Denny Bowman, argue the city is unlikely to reap the full value of the garage, whose current revenues are down because this is a period between Covington Landing and a proposed new entertainment complex there. If hotels are built nearby, as Corporex has indicated it wants to do, that also would create more parking revenues, as would a casino if it moved to the riverfront.

Opponents also are concerned a sale would give Corporex too much power over the garage, at the potential disadvantage of other nearby businesses. They further note the city could use the garage as an economic-development tool to lure other businesses.

Added to the mix is Corporex's likely inclusion, at the suggestion of City Manager Jay Fossett, of a property seven blocks to the south in the sale.

Corporex has agreed to include land at Seventh and Washington streets, two blocks from the federal courthouse, that Covington wants to use to attract Northern Kentucky University's Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

Stricker said he believes public sentiment swung in favor of a garage sale after a public hearing earlier this month on the matter.

"The good news is after the public hearing, a lot of people who were against it, they're now in favor of it," Stricker said. "A lot of people didn't understand it, which is because it's such a complex deal, but now I think they have a better understanding."

Corporex is most likely to win the bidding because a decade ago the city granted it the right to match anybody else's offer. Stricker and others have promised if the city sells the garage it will negotiate to protect the city's interests as well as those of nearby property owners connected with the garage.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 04:22 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by seicer View Post
Bids for garage will be opened Monday
But Covington commissioners not sure they will sell
By Mike Rutledge, Kentucky Enquirer, December 14, 2008

COVINGTON - An envelope to be opened Monday morning in a fourth-floor City Hall conference room could mean millions of dollars for city government and Northern Kentucky developer Corporex Cos.

That envelope will reveal how much Corporex and possibly other firms are willing to pay for the approximately 900-space parking garage beneath the Riverfront Embassy Suites Hotel and two RiverCenter office towers.

At their final regularly scheduled meeting of the year the next evening, city commissioners are expected to vote on the garage's sale.

"We might have an executive session on Tuesday, depending on what the bids say, to discuss it, and hopefully, we'll vote on it (afterward)," said city Commissioner Jerry Stricker, the city's leading advocate of a sale.

City officials have said estimates have placed the garage's value anywhere in the range of $4 million-plus to $7.5 million, depending on what method is used to evaluate the facility's revenues.

Proponents of a sale, including Stricker, argue the city has badly managed the garage and should leave the property-ownership business. An estimated $1.5 million in delayed repairs are needed to make needed improvements and stop the garage's deterioration.

Corporex officials have said they want to buy the garage because the city has let it and the public plaza above it become so shabby that it has harmed their ability to attract and keep clients.

Opponents of a sale, including Commissioner Sherry Carran and Mayor-elect Denny Bowman, argue the city is unlikely to reap the full value of the garage, whose current revenues are down because this is a period between Covington Landing and a proposed new entertainment complex there. If hotels are built nearby, as Corporex has indicated it wants to do, that also would create more parking revenues, as would a casino if it moved to the riverfront.

Opponents also are concerned a sale would give Corporex too much power over the garage, at the potential disadvantage of other nearby businesses. They further note the city could use the garage as an economic-development tool to lure other businesses.

Added to the mix is Corporex's likely inclusion, at the suggestion of City Manager Jay Fossett, of a property seven blocks to the south in the sale.

Corporex has agreed to include land at Seventh and Washington streets, two blocks from the federal courthouse, that Covington wants to use to attract Northern Kentucky University's Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

Stricker said he believes public sentiment swung in favor of a garage sale after a public hearing earlier this month on the matter.

"The good news is after the public hearing, a lot of people who were against it, they're now in favor of it," Stricker said. "A lot of people didn't understand it, which is because it's such a complex deal, but now I think they have a better understanding."

Corporex is most likely to win the bidding because a decade ago the city granted it the right to match anybody else's offer. Stricker and others have promised if the city sells the garage it will negotiate to protect the city's interests as well as those of nearby property owners connected with the garage.
2much power over a garage is never good thing. all that power consuntrated in one place dictating parking power
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Old January 8th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #29
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Mall Road project may not be ready for stimulus package
By Justin B. Duke, Kentucky Enquirer, January 7, 2009

Florence may be stuck with what Mayor Diane Whalen called a "classic chicken and egg" situation.

If President-elect Obama enacts an economic stimulus package funding "shovel-ready" projects, the Mall Road reconstruction project may not be ready enough to be included.

Right now, the engineering and planning needed for any road project hasn't been done, and city leaders aren't sure if Florence should go ahead and pay for it to be done.

The engineering will cost around $1.4 million, said City Coordinator Pat Wingo.

If they wait, the reconstruction could eventually be handled by the state and they would do all the planning, Whalen said.

But the project may not be ready to go if a stimulus package is passed.

"Can't we take the chance and design that sucker?" asked Vice-Mayor Ted Bushelman.

The Mall Road project was submitted to several agencies requesting a list of shovel-ready projects, so if a stimulus package is passed, the decision makers should have ample opportunity to see the need, Whalen said.

Ultimately, the whole issue may be a moot point because no one is sure how ready a project has to be. Politicians in Washington, D.C., are likely trying to figure out the criteria for stimulus projects, said Council Member Mike Apgar.

"I don't think anyone knows," Apgar said.

If the stimulus package is passed, the planning would have to be done quickly, but Florence would have it ready to meet the criteria, Whalen said.

Reconstructing Mall Road is important because it is not just for moving traffic, but instead it is a retail destination, said Council Member Julie Metzger Aubuchon.

The project would create an estimated 200 jobs, but Whalen sees that as a low estimate because it would likely spur on new retail jobs as well.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 06:38 AM   #30
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IRS Building

I read that the IRS in Covington is going to go from using their sprawled out location to building a tower that will use a much smaller portion of their existing lot, then the convention center could expand. That facility has many employees, Iím thinking itís over 5,000 employees at that location. Does anybody know how tall or how many floors this new skyscraper would be?
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 05:51 AM   #31
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Downtown Covington, KY by photobug2000, on Flickr
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Old March 4th, 2012, 01:04 AM   #32
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Iím thinking itís over 5,000 employees at that location. Does anybody know how tall or how many floors this new skyscraper would be?
3500 is the number or IRS employees I have seen for Northern Kentucky, not sure how many are at that site. If they wanted to they could probably build a new tallest for NKY (current tallest 308 feet) but Im not holding my breath for anything all that great. But pretty much anything is better than what is currently there.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 06:22 AM   #33
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Just out of curiosity, how many of you would support bringing pro basketball back to Kentucky? It would be good for everyone in the region and state, not just Louisville, where the NBA team would be located. We have the arena and we have the fans, in Louisville, Lexington, Northern KY., and the entire region. You can go to this website and sign the petition. Also you can "like" the page.

http://www.facebook.com/nba2lou#!/nba2lou

John Calipari supports it. Have a look at what he said about it:

http://nba2lou.straitpinkie.com/john...ce-on-nba2lou/
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