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Old Posted Mar 4, 2005, 4:29 PM
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COVINGTON, KY | The Ascent at Roebling's Bridge (Libeskind) | 21 FLOORS

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An update from the 3/4/05 Cincinnati Enquirer:

Kenton planners OK 'swoosh' roof, backup
By Mike Rutledge
Enquirer staff writer

COVINGTON - Corporex Cos.' proposed crescent-shaped condominium tower with a swooping roof won approval Thursday from the Kenton County Planning Commission. In an unusual move, the commission also approved a far more conservative version for the site.

On the one hand, the commission approved the Stage I development plan for a 21-story building designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. His 80-condo building features what Corporex describes as a dramatic "swoop" to its roofline, which would soar upward several stories.

The commission also approved, at Corporex's request, a 17-story crescent-shaped tower with a much flatter roof.

When Corporex Chairman Bill Butler unveiled the Libeskind design last year, he said he wanted a signature tower on one acre at the southeast corner of RiverCenter and Scott boulevards, not far from the Roebling Suspension Bridge.

Steven Massicot, director of Corporex Development and Construction Management, and project attorney Marty Butler emphasized that the Libeskind design is the preferred vision. But Marty Butler conceded that Libeskind's designs tend "to be expensive to build."

The project now must receive approval from Covington: a development agreement must be struck, and the building's architecture will be reviewed.

"We don't want to go way downstream and spend a lot of time and money," Marty Butler said, only to have city officials say, " 'Hey, we've seen the first one (the more traditional building), we like it, but the second one? Eh. It's got issues,' " which would force the company to start all over.

Marty Butler said officials don't intend to do a hybrid of the two buildings. The Libeskind building would have the exterior of its C-shape facing the bridge, while the other version would have the outside of its C away from the bridge. The developer will choose which is the better alternative, based on marketing and economics, said commission planner Mike Schwartz.

The commission approved both plans with one 13-0 vote, and also approved street setback variances.

E-mail mrutledge@enquirer.com

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