Covington Business Council
and the Urban Parntership created the Commerical Whitebox Program in 2015 with a $10,000 grant from the The Catalytic Fund
and Duke Energy Foundation
to help revitalize vacant, blighted and aged storefront spaces in Covington’s central business district.
David Vissman, who is redeveloping and “white boxing” a building at 12-14 W. Pike St., is the grant program’s first recipient. He’s working on renovating the three-story, 8,000-square-foot building into first-floor retail, a second-floor photography studio and residential space on the upper floor.
“White boxing” means that, rather than build out space for a specific business, the developer will create a blank canvas for a future business. The process can involve HVAC, electrical and plumbing installation as well as bathroom, wall and ceiling restoration.
As part of the program, the developer must match the grant, creating at least $20,000 worth of investment.
There are 22 storefronts in this block of West Pike, with eight of them vacant. Projects like Vissman’s help bring additional grassroots investment in Covington to follow larger successful ventures like the Mutual Building
, Hotel Covington and Braxton Brewery