OneNKY Center achieves construction milestone — celebrates Topping Out ceremony

The Northern Kentucky Port Authority (NKY Port), Corporex, and Hemmer Construction Company celebrated the Topping Out ceremony of the OneNKY Center in downtown Covington.

The final steel beam, signed by future tenants, elected officials, and community leaders, was placed at the top of the building, which is 100 percent leased and will open in Summer 2025.

Bill Butler and Paul Hemmer celebrate the Topping Out. (Photo provided)

“Today’s ceremony marks a major milestone in making the OneNKY Center in Covington a reality,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I was proud to support the funding for this great project that will attract more life sciences and biotech companies to the region, which means more high-wage jobs and cutting-edge treatments for our families. Congratulations to the local leaders and work crews who are building this incredible regional asset.”

“I’m proud that Kenton County is making strides to become a hub of biomedical excellence,” said Senator Chris McDaniel. “The life sciences center inside the OneNKY Building will make us one of the most competitive research hubs in the region. I’m proud to have secured the funding to make this a reality.”

The beam heads into place. (Photo provided)

“The placing of the final steel beam is a monumental moment for the OneNKY Center, the NKY Port’s first project since our activation in 2022,” said NKY Port Executive Director Christine Russell. “So much hard work has gone into the planning, construction, and leasing of this building, and each milestone means we are one step closer to fulfilling this dream.”

“The OneNKY Center is a symbol of our progress as a collaborative and unifying place to live and work,” noted Bill Butler, Chairman of Corporex. “Celebrating every step of the process is important.  Congratulations to everyone who worked to make this momentous community milestone reality.”

“This important milestone is a culmination of a great team effort by all parties involved,” said Paul Hemmer, CEO of Paul Hemmer Company. “It sets the stage for the next phase of the project and keeps us on schedule to deliver a transformative facility to all those organizations who will call it home.”

Governor Andy Beshear was in attendance for the groundbreaking of the OneNKY Center on Aug. 30, 2023. The NKY Port owns the building, Corporex is the developer and construction manager, and Hemmer Construction Company is the prime contractor.

This 47,000-square-foot Class A office building will serve as the home of 10 Northern Kentucky growth organizations: BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY), Catalytic Fund of Northern Kentucky, Covington Life Sciences Partners, EducateNKY, Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, meetNKY, Northern Kentucky Bar Association, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, OneNKY Alliance, and Thomas More University Division of External Affairs.

Guiding it expertly into place. (Photo provided)

It will also house the Covington Life Science Lab, which will provide early-stage companies with cost-effective research and development facilities with shared equipment and office space as well as educational and training opportunities in the science industries.

The $26 million project’s funding comes from various channels, including Kenton County Fiscal Court’s credit enhancement for approximately $8.7 million of construction bonds issued by the Kentucky Association of County Officials and underwritten by Compass Municipal Advisors.

Gov. Beshear and the Kentucky General Assembly allocated $15 million for the Covington Life Science Lab. The Catalytic Fund and OneNKY Alliance were also instrumental in securing financing for the building, and other financial contributions were made by the Haile Foundation, Horizon Community Funds, Durr Foundation, and Drees Foundation.

In 2022, BE NKY, through its Build + Elevate NKY investor campaign, activated the NKY Port, which focuses on identifying, managing, readying, and advocating for sites aimed at surpassing community employment and wage objectives through subsequent private commercial and industrial development and revitalization efforts.

BE NKY Growth Partnership

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