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Cincinnati: Covington - Odd Fellows Hall Renovation

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Odd Fellows Hall rises from the ashes

Covington landmark close to recovery from fire

By Mike Rutledge Enquirer staff writer

 

Madison Avenue's most talked-about old building - the Odd Fellows Hall - is about to make its re-entrance to society, ending two years of rumor and mystery.  During 148 years, the building hosted elegant Civil War-era receptions and tawdry 20th century go-go bars.

 

But a May 2002 fire that gutted the National Register structure, just as its renovation began, ignited its greatest controversy: Should it be saved or destroyed?  On Dec. 9, real estate brokers will view its transformation. The coming-out party will be Jan. 29 when the public will be invited for a gala, including the opening of a time capsule. Proceeds will go to the Covington Business Council Foundation, which helped neighboring businesses after the blaze.

 

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on the full story.

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Historic building needs tenants

Gala to show off Odd Fellows Hall

By Mike Rutledge Enquirer staff writer

 

When owners open the doors of the rebuilt Odd Fellows Hall for a gala in late January, they hope to satisfy some curiosity - the public's, and their own.  How can the building's fifth floor, with its pyramid-shaped ceiling and windows only in the roof, best be used?

 

And what tenants will be interested in renting the building's four lower floors, including street-level spaces for restaurants?  "I think that once people get inside and understand what the potential of the interior offers, it can be anything," said Kelly Sells, a co-owner of the 148-year-old downtown landmark at Fifth Street and Madison Avenue that was gutted by fire in May 2002. "And that's so unusual for historic buildings. Usually you have to retrofit your business to whatever the building has to offer."

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041126/NEWS0103/411260388/1059/NEWS01

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Odd Fellows Hall is restored

Now the quest for tenants gets serious

By Mike Rutledge Enquirer staff writer

 

Three years after the fire, life finally has returned to normal around Covington's Odd Fellows Hall. Saturday was the third anniversary of the blaze that nearly destroyed the 149-year-old landmark.  "Everything is back to normal in the neighborhood," said Tony Milburn, one of the building's co-owners, who, he said, are in "very serious negotiations with a restaurant" to occupy the first floor.

 

Building scaffolding and sidewalk barricades were removed recently, and now, a clean, restored Odd Fellows Hall sits at 5th Street and Madison Avenue. Before the fire, the building was shabby and almost completely shuttered. Angie Billiter, an owner of Earl Franks Sons/Daughters Flooring - one of four businesses that sued Odd Fellows owners and the city of Covington over the fire and the reconstruction that continued into January - likes how the building looks now.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050522/NEWS0103/505220388

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Rehabbed Covington building honored

Odd Fellows Hall gets historic award

By Mike Rutledge Enquirer staff writer

 

Three years after the fire that nearly destroyed it, the Odd Fellows Hall was one of three buildings that received Kentucky's Ida Lee Willis Memorial Award for historic preservation.  "It's a tribute to the tenacity of the owners to preserve what they could of the building," said Kentucky Heritage Council spokeswoman Diane Comer. "By preserving what they could of it, they've honored its history."

 

Owners of the building at Fifth Street and Madison Avenue are Damian and Kelly Sells, and Tony Milburn.  Two other buildings in the state were honored: the Coal Miners Memorial in Benham, and Cemetery Chapel in Frankfort. Only a half dozen times in the award's 27-year history has a Northern Kentucky person, group or building received the honor, according to the Kentucky Heritage Council.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050602/NEWS0103/506020380/1059/NEWS01

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Reconstructed hall seeks tenants

By Stephenie Steitzer Post staff reporter

 

The owners of the recently reconstructed Odd Fellows Hall in Covington have hired a team of real estate agents to lease the commercial and office space.  Contractors are still working to install the heating and air conditioning system in the historic building, which won't be ready for tenants until at least November, co-owner Kelly Sells said.

 

In the next 10 days, though, real estate agent Neil Blunt, who also is vice chairman of the Covington Business Council, is setting up a leasing office in the building at the corner of Fifth Street and Madison Avenue.  Blunt said he is teaming up with a team of commercial real estate agents and a marketing specialist from Coldwell Banker's commercial division in Cincinnati. The team's first goal is to find a restaurant and another retailer to fill the first floor with hopes that those tenants would attract office tenants to the remaining four floors.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.kypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050909/NEWS02/509090370/1014

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Developers restoring heartbeat to hallowed Odd Fellows Hall

Restored N. Ky. building being marketed for retail/office use

 

After decades of sitting mostly vacant, followed by a devastating fire in 2002, the Odd Fellows Hall in downtown Covington is poised to come back to life.  The historic building's owners have listed the property with a new team of real estate agents and are marketing the building in earnest, said Kelly Sells, who along with her husband, Damian Sells, and developer Tony Milburn make up Odd Fellows LLC.

 

"The proper mechanicals are going into place now, and that gives prospects a better feel for when the place will be ready, as well as confidence in the project going through," Sells said. "The interior is still a wide-open shell, but with HVAC mechanicals in place, it is as close as it can be without determining who the user is."

 

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2005/10/10/newscolumn1.html

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Renovated building prepares for tenants

By Luke E. Saladin Post staff reporter

 

Owners hope to finish upgrades on the renovated Odd Fellows Hall in Covington early next year, improvements they hope will attract tenants to the still-vacant building.  Co-owner Kelly Sells said there has been a flurry of inquires by potential tenants in the last couple of weeks, ranging from businesses needing office space to restaurants.

 

Sells is hoping that the current upgrades - which include a new ventilation, heating and air conditioning system - will make the site more attractive to customers.  "Depending on what type of business goes in, it could take a few months to a year to bring the building up to their specifications," Sells said. "With the utilities already in place, that time is greatly reduced, which makes the building more and more attractive to potential tenants."

 

Read full article here:

http://news.kypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051209/NEWS02/512090358/1014

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