The next phase of Covington’s growing life sciences corridor got a boost from Duke Energy, which has awarded the city a $100,000 urban renewal grant for its
The grant will go toward an expansion at bioLOGIC’s 7,000-square-foot second floor at its Russell Street headquarters. The addition will include office and lab space, along with classroom facilities at the life science accelerator. The building’s 5,000-square-foot first floor is at capacity.
bioLOGIC houses seven life sciences companies. Its growth is being fueled in two areas: through expanding existing companies and attracting new companies to locate or relocate to Covington.
The accelerator has a pipeline of nearly a dozen companies looking to locate in its space, either temporarily or permanently, says bioLOGIC Managing Director Keith Schneider. The organization hopes to secure more funding through grants or private investments to complete the build out, which could be finished late this year.
The Duke Energy Foundation’s
Urban Revitalization Pilot Program grant is designed to help spur job growth and retention in urban core communities served by Duke Energy. Ohio and Kentucky serves as the young programs pilot area. Duke operates in five states in the southeast and the Midwest.
Duke has been investing in the region’s economic development for years, says Rhonda Whitaker, company director of government and community relations. Traditionally, Duke focused more on large manufacturing and industrial projects, but realized in urban areas such projects are rare.
“We have a Site Readiness program that helps prepare large tracts of land for manufacturing projects, but local leaders said they didn’t meet an urban community’s needs," Whitaker says. "And the urban core is significant and important in our area. Successful regions rely on a strong urban core. And this is really an effort to concentrate on those community’s job growth and sustainability."
The Duke Foundation chose Covington’s bioLOGIC because it was an emerging, successful innovator in the growing life sciences arena. From its inception, it’s been a private, public partnership that relied on private and government investment and support.
“It’s an effort to harness the power of entrepreneurship in the region with space for training and creates a targeted, skilled workforce,” Whitaker says.
By Feoshia Henderson
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