Company moves global headquarters to old school in Covington town center


One of the oldest and largest integrated branding and marketing companies in the Cincinnati area is moving its global headquarters to downtown Covington.

DeanHouston + will be moving into the former Two Rivers Middle School building on Scott Blvd., recently used as part of the Gateway Community & Technicall Colleges Urban Metro Campus.

The move is expected to bring 40 workers to the city, and the company plans to add 16 more positions over the next three years.

Company officials said employees fell in love with downtown Covington and its “pedestrian potential” during a series of site visits, according to an announcement.

“DeanHouston + is a brand on the move, literally and figuratively. Like us, Covington is exploding with positive energy and growth, which fits perfectly with our goals of creative people, culture and growth, ”said Dale Dean, Founder and CEO of DeanHouston +. “Our entire team is enthusiastic about this decision. “

Covington officials said the move further bolsters two strategies underway in its 2019 “Garner Report”: suing companies that fall under the “All Things Office” industry and reallocating historic buildings to modern workspaces.

“Businesses continue to view Covington as a great place to settle because of the authentic, welcoming and exciting amenities we offer, which they know will help them attract the talent they need to compete,” said Mayor Joe Meyer. “DeanHouston + ‘s decision to locate its global headquarters here is a signal to other businesses that Covington is the Tri-State’s preferred business address for creative businesses.”

Among these “creative design agencies” in Covington are a range of marketing, communications, media, design, branding, architecture and art agencies.

The city of Covington commission on Tuesday evening approved a payroll tax incentive to join the deal. Covington expects to collect around $ 840,000 in payroll taxes over the next 10 years as a result of the move, said economic development director Tom West.

DeanHouston + has satellite offices in Chicago, Nashville, Los Angeles and China, with a strategic partnership in Germany. It has been around for 33 years.

Company officials have said they hope to move to Covington on January 1 once the building’s renovation is complete.

The 1.5 acre property at 525 boul. is across from the Kenton County Public Library. It was sold in February 2021 by Kentucky Community and Technical College System to Covington Kentucky Development LLC, an investment group led by Guy van Rooyen, whose investment group also owns Hotel Covington.

It is undergoing a complete interior renovation with significant exterior upgrades, as designed by Work Architecture + Design and carried out by Manning Contracting.

“We are delighted, once again, to restore a neglected building to its former glory in the city center,” said van Rooyen. “Our commitment and passion for these restoration projects continues as we bring another asset online to enhance the thriving Covington community.”

The building has 71,000 square feet spread over three floors.

The first phase of the renovation, which has been completed, has completed 5,300 square feet of ground floor space which is now occupied by the Covington Classical Academy.

The second phase will prepare the remainder of the building for future commercial tenants, including approximately 12,000 square feet of second floor space for DeanHouston +, in addition to improving amenity space.

The work will include new access points, yard improvements at the corner of Scott and Sixth streets, new outdoor decks for tenants and rooftop space.

“At a time when many companies are struggling to find modern offices and recruit talented team members, this project offers a new high-end office asset for the city,” said Tyler Watkins of WorK Architecture. “Our goal in working with Covington Kentucky Development LLC is… to help attract a new generation of professionals to the cultural and economic heart of Covington. “

-Staff report

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