A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beyond the Curb: Most dramatic makeover yet for River City Living — a laundromat turned into a house

By Jill Morenz
The Catalytic Fund

Developer Duane Cronin, owner of Diversified Capital Management, didn’t come up with the idea to turn a laundromat into a house, but when he was offered the project, he jumped right in.

Before and After

The dramatic conversion from commercial space to stylish home is the focus of this week’s episode of Beyond the Curb: River City Living.

Located in Newport’s historic East Row neighborhood, the architecture of the building stands out. However, simple changes like recessing the front door, adding a dormer and a new gable window make it look more residential than commercial.

Inside, once the washers and dryers were carted off and the dropped ceiling was removed, the beautiful roof truss structure was revealed. Cronin decided to highlight the old beams by vaulting and paneling the ceiling and adding a loft level at the back of the house.

Before and After

The home is surprisingly roomy with a large living space, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, laundry and storage on the first level. Cronin and his wife, Nicole, moved in after the renovation was complete, just in time for the birth of their son and arrival of the other new family member, a large, enthusiastic dog.

The other feature that survived the conversion is the concrete floor. Cronin repoured it, added a darkening stain and then sealed it. The contemporary vibe, as well as ease of maintenance, appeals to the couple’s design sensibility.

Even though their house is a bit of an anomaly amid the neighboring historic homes, the Cronins love living in East Row. Moving here from the west coast, they appreciate the hometown feel of Newport and the friendliness of the entire region.

Watch a new episode of Beyond the Curb: River City Living every Friday and find previous episodes here.

The Catalytic Fund is the private sector, not-for-profit organization provides financing assistance and related services for developers of quality residential and commercial real estate projects in Northern Kentucky’s urban cities of Ludlow, Covington, Bellevue, Newport and Dayton.

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