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Icon Marketing Communications and ROAD ID Choose Covington, Kentucky

Icon Marketing Communications, a marketing and advertising firm now in Fort Mitchell, will relocate to the ROAD iD building at 35 W. Eighth St. in Covington, Kentucky.

The agency will bring at least 36 employees, add 10 more, and invest $4.13 million in buying and renovating the building, Founder & CEO Shawn Murdock said.

In another relocation, ROAD iD, a company that manufactures safety identification tags and bracelets for runners, cyclists and people with emergency conditions, will to relocate into vacant warehouse space it owns just south of its existing building in Covington. ROAD iD plans to add five employees and invest $1.3 million in the renovation of what amounts to 20,000 square feet of space, Co-Founder & CEO Edward Wimmer said.

Under the pending deal, Icon Marketing Communications would buy and move into the building owned, recently renovated and occupied by ROAD iD.

As proposed, the payroll incentives for Icon would last for five years with a commitment from the agency to stay at least another five years in Covington after the incentives run out. The agreement with ROAD iD would update a previous forgivable loan related to renovation and reset the clock on a previous payroll incentives agreement. It also carries a five-year commitment by the company beyond the incentives period.

City officials said the moves accomplish several goals; it continues the high-priority focus on bringing quality jobs to Covington, expands the tax base and tax revenues and contribute to the high-energy development of the Duveneck Square commercial district.

“ROAD iD and Icon Marketing are vibrant companies that contribute a lot of talent and energy, and these new jobs and these investments match our targeted strategies,” Economic Development Director Tom West said. “This collaborative agreement has been a long time in the making with a lot of interactive parts, and we’re thrilled to announce it. Officials from both companies have demonstrated a lot of flexibility and commitment.”

Murdock said he hoped to move Icon to Covington by the end of January and said the projected employee growth was a conservative analysis. “We believe we’re going to blow that out of the water,” said Murdock, who said he had been looking for a location in Covington for a while.

“The area’s got such a dynamic, urban-core energy,” he said. “It’s just the best place to grow and attract the talent and clients we want. We couldn’t be more excited about our future in this incredible space, and it’s been a pleasure to work with City officials and ROAD iD throughout the process.”

Meanwhile, ROAD iD will renovate and move into empty warehouse space in the same complex just to the south. Here is the existing space as it looks now, and a rendering of the finished space provided by ROAD iD. Wimmer said ROAD iD planned to begin its renovation next month and move into its new headquarters in April. During any overlap, it would share space with Icon in the existing three-story building.

The vacant space it will renovate is spread out in three connected warehouse structures just south of the current three-story home, and was already on the market for leasing. About 8,000 square feet of space in a fifth building in the complex is already occupied.

Wimmer said the company saw the switch as an opportunity to show commitment to a “reciprocal relationship” with the City.

“It’s not something we were anticipating doing but it is definitely something we are very energized about doing,” Wimmer said.

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