Kokomo’s story is one of vision.
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. It was one of many projects continuing the revitalization of the downtown area.
That same year, the city began construction of the $9 million Kokomo Municipal Stadium, which now sees record attendance during the summer and has been named Ballpark Digest’s Best Summer Collegiate Facility two years running. We’ve now turned our eye to the Wildcat Creek Soccer Complex, a 60-acre complex that will be home to 35 soccer fields.
And now, the story just keeps getting better.
Following the city’s example, private investment is pouring in. This year, the $16 million, state-of-the-art YMCA opened in downtown Kokomo.
Significant private housing development began in Kokomo, and there are additional projects in the pipeline — including the planned $32 million Flaherty & Collins mixed-use project and the $20 million Market Street Townhomes.
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 amidst road construction projects that will drastically reshape our most traveled thoroughfares. The future holds many more planned infrastructure improvements.
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.