UpTech, Market Lofts break ground in Covington

COVINGTON —Two new ventures in Northern Kentucky are well on their way to building up the urban core along Covington’s Pike Street Corridor.

A groundbreaking for the future home of UpTech, Northern Kentucky’s informatics startup accelerator, at PikeStar and a new market-rate apartment building at Market Lofts, was hosted Tuesday by The Catalytic Fund of Northern Kentucky.


Groundbreaking held for new Covington developments

COVINGTON — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday for two of Covington’s newest developments.

The ceremony was hosted by the Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky for Market Lofts and PikeStar.

Market Lofts will include 15 market-rate rental units. The PikeStar development will have seven rental units and a commercial space housing UpTech, a company that supports start-up businesses in Northern Kentucky.

The new developments come as an effort to build up Covington’s Pike Street Corridor.

“We think that this area, particularly this corridor, has a wonderful potential to be a quality, urban living and working space, and we think the architecture is phenomenal. It can’t be duplicated,” said Catalytic Development Funding Corp. President Jeanne Schroe.

The funding from this project came from several lending organizations, as well as the City of Covington and Duke Energy.

Developers expect the commercial space to be ready by mid-September. The apartments are scheduled to be completed by early 2014.

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Covington is becoming a home for innovation

COVINGTON — It’s entirely appropriate that the successful effort to relocate UpTech to its future home in Covington took a mix of developers, non-traditional funders, corporate sponsors and elected officials from around the region and across the river.

Before UpTech even entered the picture, the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington had made redeveloping Pike Street a critical part of ongoing efforts to revitalize and connect the city’s urban core with its more vibrant business and residential district along the Ohio River. The center was already bringing in non-traditional financing sources to help Kreutzjans and Tischbein develop the property.

Those sources included The Catalytic Fund, which has raised $10 million to help jump-start development in Northern Kentucky’s urban core. It was interested in the Pike Street property and liked the mixed-use approach.

Jeanne Schroer, the Catalytic Fund’s executive director, then connected with Kathy Schwab, executive director of the local chapter of LISC, which is based in Cincinnati. Investing in urban neighborhoods is part of LISC’s core mission.

The two organizations teamed up to provide Kreutzjans and Tischbein with the necessary financing to renovate the inside of the building. LISC loaned $703,000; the Catalytic Fund loaned $175,000. The Duke Energy Foundation also stepped up with a $35,000 urban revitalization grant.



Catalytic Fund finally starting to make its mark – Urban core development getting a boost

COVINGTON — When the Catalytic Fund was launched in August 2008, hopes were high in the community. The fund’s mission was to raise $10 million in capital to help jump-start development in Northern Kentucky’s urban core.

Then the recession set in.

The initial goal of raising that capital in a year stretched into two years, then three and finally into five; the fund reached the $10 million mark last November.

Now, nearly six years after its launch, the fund is finally embarking upon its first project: a $130,000 gap-financing loan for a $1 million apartment development in Covington’s emerging Pike Street corridor.