Covington Central Riverfront (former 23-acre IRS site)

Vision is to restore the street grids for a neighborhood feel and develop office, residential, retail and a levee park.


Shock waves reverberated throughout Covington in fall 2016, when the federal government gave a “three-year warning” that it was shutting down the massive IRS data processing facility it had opened in 1967. In its heyday, the facility had employed some 4,000 people, making it the City’s largest employer.


Today, however, the strongest emotions attached to the site are “excitement” and “anticipation.” The City owns the complex, it’s 23 acres large, and it sits just a block south of the Ohio River next to the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

City officials call it their “chance to reshape the very identity and economics of Covington long into its future.” And one East Coast commercial developer called it one of “the most exciting land redevelopment opportunities between Baltimore and New Orleans.”


As 2022 comes to a close, the site is a blank campus. O’Rourke Wrecking spent much of the year demolishing the buildings, ripping up asphalt, removing underground fuel tanks, and grading the site. Now KZF Design Inc. is leading a team that is engineering the “horizontal infrastructure” (streets, sidewalks, plaza, utilities etc.) that will make the site conducive to private developers. That design is to be finished in the first half of 2023. The team led by KZF has created a virtual fly-through video that takes the viewer “into” the developed site. It also created a series of artist renderings that illustrate the potential look of the site when it’s developed, plus a land-use diagram and rendered site plan.

Artist Renderings:



Want to appreciate the size of the Covington Central Riverfront Development site?

Check out this photo of Covington and our neighbor to the north (in this case to the right) taken from 260 miles in the air by the International Space Station as it orbited the earth. (Given to us by NASA and used with permission).

The cleared site – for over five decades the home of an IRS tax return processing center — is the brown patch located on the riverfront in the center of the photo, located amid the bridges. It’s directly across from the Bengals’ stadium, which appears as a set of white parentheses turned on their sides.

(… meaning if there’s intelligent life out in the universe, and they have their super telescopes trained on the earth, they’re probably curious what the folks in Covington plan to do with all that land.)

No wonder this site is a game-changer for The Cov.

Timeline (as told in news releases):