BOYD COUNTY, KY (WOWK) — Two projects are in the works in Boyd County to build two brand new convention centers, and they could mean a lot more conventions will be coming through Ashland and the County in the coming years.
“1401 Winchester Avenue is a building that was essentially donated to the city several years ago and it used to be the home of the corporate headquarters of Ashland Oil,” says Josh Blanton, an Ashland City Commissioner.
A project has been in the works there since 2017 and is about to give the empty building new life.
“We’ve proceeded to the part of this project where it’s time for this building to come down–it has asbestos and a lot of other problems so now it’s time for it to come down and a convention center to happen,” Blanton says.
The idea is a convention center and parking garage in the downtown area, with a capacity of around 1,000 people.
Thanks to a recent one million dollar grant for the engineering of the center, the project will be getting off the ground soon.
“Probably spring. Normal construction period during the spring/summer period, so we’ll be looking at that in the next year to get this building down safely and then as soon as that building’s down and property’s clear we’ll start construction so probably after this coming year is when we would actually start construction,” Blanton says.
This isn’t the only convention center in the works in the area, either. Across town, next to the Camp Landing Entertainment District, another center will soon take shape.
The Boyd County Convention Center will be housed in what was previously a department store.
“It’ll be around 80,000 square feet. We’re currently working on finalizing the floor plan for the facility itself…We’re gonna start work here in the next couple weeks painting and then the bid will be out and construction will start within the first quarter of 2022,” says Eric Chaney, Boyd County Judge/Executive, “There’ll be a hotel that’s on the property attached to the convention center, and a 120,000 square foot sports complex attached to the backside. So this is really going to create an entirely new environment for Boyd County.”
Chaney says while the convention centers are both in Boyd County, they will be pursuing two different markets of people, so there is a spirit of cooperation between the two entities.