When a major employer invested nearly $1.3 billion in Kokomo in 2011, we didn’t rest in the relief from the hardships of the recession. We used it as momentum and pushed forward with investments of our own.
We began intensive downtown revitalization efforts: Traffic signals were replaced with decorative four-way stop signs; One-way streets were converted to two-way; A TIF district was created; A riverfront district was established. As a result, 17 new businesses opened downtown. The city expanded its alternative transportation network with the creation of the City Line Trolley system.
That same year, the city found itself on the magazine’s 2011 listings of Best Cities for Jobs and Best Places to Live Cheaply.
By 2013, we were leading the nation with a 61 percent increase in real GDP growth.
Now the city was making major investments in itself. In 2014, the city broke ground on a $9 million downtown parking garage project. In 2021, the city opened a second, free parking garage to the public.
Kokomo Municipal Stadium, a $9 million investment started in 2014, continues to welcome baseball fans during the summer and was named Ballpark Digest’s Best Summer Collegiate Facility two years in a row. In 2020, the community welcomed Championship Park, a complex that regularly hosts baseball and softball tournaments and brings new visitors to our community.
In 2016, the $16 million, state-of-the-art YMCA opened in downtown Kokomo, and today it continues to promote healthy, active lifestyles.
A new solar park was opened at the site of the former Continental Steel plant site. Inovateus Solar has developed the 26-acre park, housing 21,000 solar panels producing 7 megawatts of energy.
And still, Kokomo doesn’t rest in the private investments. The city is continually working on projects to improve the community and overall quality of life for our residents.
Because of all of this, Kokomo is a great place to do business and a wonderful place to call home — and that clearly didn’t happen by accident.