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Friday, May 17, 2019

Fedders Construction sets sights on West Newport developments

Company Wins Kentucky Startup Business Pacesetter Award

By Jessica Eden 

The “West Side Cafe” in West Newport will soon have a facelift thanks to Albert Fedders of Fedders Construction.

The property, recently purchased by Fedders, fits in perfectly with his current projects in the area.

“I’m restoring the former street car barn across the street. I’ve always had an eye on the building and I’ve thought about restoring it. I would love to restore to its ‘heyday’. I looked at it once they kind of  cleaned it out and the space has great bones and is in great shape. I can’t wait to bring it back to life,” said Fedders.

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Fedders Construction is still a fairly new company but they are quickly gaining attention of several organizations for their work in several urban core areas throughout NKY and Cincinnati. This week, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC), part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, recognized Fedders Construction for their exemplary business practices and growth.

The KSBDC helps existing, and startup businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services.  As a result, the Fedders Construction team traveled to Frankfort to have lunch with Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton, Kentucky SBDC State Director, Kristina Joyce, SBA Acting District Director, Robert Coffey, and small business supporters from across the state

Fedders Construction was honored with a Startup Business Pacesetter award. The KSBDC’s Pacesetter Recognition Program honors high-performing second stage and startup businesses that are producing innovative products, increasing sales, creating jobs, and serving communities of the Commonwealth.

With an award in tow and recent announcements such as the new Ovation music venue, the new Rt. 9 corridor that currently runs through the area and New Riff’s renovation project in a building across the street, Fedders has set his sights on West Newport. He is convinced this urban core area is ready to take off and new developments in the area are pushing traffic toward the area. “Newport is centrally located and people can cut through and get to other areas really quickly. People forget about cutting through Newport. There is easy access to get on or off the express and eventually, they’ll have to do something with the 75 bridge which will push more traffic through this area,” said Fedders.

So, what is planned for the former West Side Cafe and the old street car barn? Fedders said he’d love to renovated it and turn it back into a bar and grill. “The bar is beautiful. I really want to restore the bar. Back in its heyday, it was hotel and a bar and grill. I would love to create units upstairs that we could rent out through AirBnb above, like it was back in the day,” said Fedders.

The old street car barn is about 50,000 square feet and Fedders will only need around 7,000 square feet for his construction business so he is exploring ideas for the rest of the space. “There are so many different ideas and so many potential ideas. We gotta figure out the right idea. Some people have reached out and said it would be a cool office space. I’m hoping this will attract people down to the area and be a catalyst for the corridor,” said Fedders.

He’s leaning towards creating an event space or an artist / maker space. “Not sure what the car barn is going to be.  I’ve thought about an event space. People in the wedding could stay above the bar and grill. The top floor has unbelievable views of city but I am hesitant. I may also build offices over there. I want to bring back the building’s big windows. There is even an old skylight. It’s a pretty cool space with old doors and the original wood trim is intact. I want to restore those features as well as the floors and keep the high ceilings,” said Fedders.

While West Newport is Fedders’ central area of focus at the moment, his company is also renovating three townhomes in Mainstrasse off of 7th Street as well as a building off of Pike Street in Covington. They also have projects in Over-the-Rhine and the Clifton area.

Why? Fedders likes saving old buildings. “I enjoy preserving these old buildings instead of tearing them down,” said Fedders.

To learn more about Fedders Construction and stay up to date on all their upcoming projects, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Great to hear a Newport institution will continue to stand. My uncle Jamie frequented the West Side decades ago. He was also a very good golfer. One day Johnny Bench entered the tavern and said “I need someone to golf with.” Everyone pointed to my uncle and said, “Here’s the guy you need,” thus starting one of my uncle’s most memorable days.