Renovation of Downtown Covington Office

Developers launch renovation of downtown Covington office building, adding rooftop bar, restaurant

A local development team is starting on a complete renovation of a historical building in downtown Covington.

Covington Republic LLC, a development team that consists of Sparen Real Estate, Manning Contracting and Work Architecture + Design Ltd., purchased the Republic Bank building at 535 Madison Ave. last fall and will renovate the 27,000-square-foot building. The total investment is expected to be $4.9 million.

In addition to renovating the existing office space, expanding its elevator and enhancing the historical facade, the team plans to add a rooftop bar and restaurant space. The team closed on its construction financing last week.

The development team has been working on its plans for this project for the past 10 months, said Joe Stevie, principal with Sparen Real Estate. They were attracted to the building because of its location and “grand feel” in Covington, Stevie said.

“You’d have to be blind to ignore that building coming through Covington,” Nic Manning, owner of Manning Contracting told me.

The four empty floors of the Republic Bank building have been abandoned for about 10 to 15 years, said Tyler Watkins, partner at Work Architecture + Design. The team will gut those four floors and reposition them as class A office space.


The plan is to take the office spaces as close to fully finished as possible. That way, as tenants look to sign leases in the building, they can turn around a completed space in 45 to 60 days.

Tom West, economic development director for the city of Covington, said the city is receiving a number of leads from creative companies and logistics firms looking for office space in the city. Most of these tenants are looking for 4,000 to 15,000 square feet of space.