Covington growing with new businesses

Cincinnati isn’t the only city in the Tri-State area experiencing rejuvenation. Just across the Ohio River, Covington has seen a plethora of new businesses open in the last year, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.
Naashom Marx, business development manager for the City of Covington, works to attract new businesses and retain Covington’s current businesses.
“Covington is a great place to live, work and play,” she says. “It’s a unique dynamic of people and places, and it attracts people.”
Right in the heart of Covington’s urban center—at Roebling and Fifth Street, eight buildings in a four-block area will soon become Gateway Tech’s new location. The college is also opening a bookstore at Sixth and Madison, which will be open to the public. The addition of Gateway Tech’s student body to the urban center will help that area grow, and keep businesses busy, Marx says.
The city’s current focus area is the Renaissance district, the spaces around Madison, Short Pike and Scott streets. The goal is to continue to grow new businesses while encouraging the momentum to continue in other areas, too.
Since its founding 35 years ago, Mainstrasse Village has seen exponential growth. It’s a walkable and bike-friendly area close to both the riverfront and the City's hotel district.
“Mainstrasse Village wouldn’t have lasted long without the community,” says Kim Blank, executive director of Mainstrasse. 
Main BiteSugar Cube RecordsOld Kentucky Bourbon Bar and Goodfellas recently opened in Mainstrasse, and Covington Yoga moved from Scott to the village to make room for Gateway Tech. Thai Sushi is slated to open later this summer, and Commonwealth Bistro is currently renovating two buildings in Mainstrasse.
“Covington continues to grow, and it’s a really nice area with lots of new businesses,” Blank says. “It’s an exciting time for us.”
Pike Street has also seen lots of new businesses open recently. Buonavita Pizzeria opened last Monday; 3TC DesignsShrewdness of Apes, Latonia Treasures, Old Home Style and Green Line Salon are all new to the area as well. Grateful Grahams and Sushi Cincinnati both moved to larger facilities on Pike Street, and Tickets Sports Café is reinventing itself into an all-Covington, all-green, family-friendly restaurant.
In about nine months, City Hall will become Hotel Covington, a boutique hotel near the Madison Event Center. (City Hall moved to a smaller office to accommodate the project.)
Covington has also seen lots of larger businesses, like Westpack and Blair Technology Group, move in because of the perks the city has to offer—parks, restaurants, shops, quality of life and a sense of community.
“Developers are seeing great growth and rehabilitation efforts here, which attracts more developers to Covington,” Marx says. “And property owners see higher property values, which encourages them to stay and raise their families here.”

Stay tuned to Soapbox for stories about Covington's new businesses and its continued growth. 
By Caitlin Koenig
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