New YMCA, Parking Garage Planned For Downtown Kokomo

The city will back two major projects involving a new parking and residential development and a new YMCA.

kokomo

Photo: Gretchen Frazee/WFIU-WTIU News

New development backed by the City of Kokomo will begin downtown next summer.

The city of Kokomo is making plans for new downtown development.

Mayor Greg Goodnight says the city will commit $4 million over the course of two years to the construction of a new YMCA. He says the new facility is a worthwhile investment because it coincides with the city’s master plan.

“It’s obviously a part of our redevelopment strategy – redeveloping existing properties to mitigate sprawl,” Goodnight says. “So everything they’re doing is a part of our goals and objectives to try to make a more sustainable community.”

The current YMCA is more than 100 years old and new additions such as sunken basketball courts and a running track would not be feasible in the existing structure.

The city is also partnering with a private developer to turn a city-owned surface parking lot into a four-story parking garage with fifth floor apartments. Goodnight says the city would own the garage and Indianapolis-based Baldwin Properties would own and operate the housing.

Baldwin Properties owner Scott Baldwin says Kokomo is in a strong financial position for new development. While he would have liked to construct more than one floor of housing, he says a number of factors, including local codes have prevented them from being more aggressive with the housing project.

However he’s confident the roughly 35 units will be fully occupied upon completion.

“We’re certainly not excluding anyone, but we do feel like we’re attempting to attract that young professional and we’re targeting a price range in the dollar to dollar ten per square foot per month range,” Baldwin says.

With plans for efficiency units as well as one and two bedrooms, that would put prices at $700 per month and up.

Jimmy Jenkins

Jimmy Jenkins is a multimedia journalist for WFIU and WTIU news. A native of Terre Haute, he is a masters student at the Indiana University School of Journalism and is proud to be a part of the public broadcasting stations he listened to and watched since he was a child. Follow him on Twitter @newsjunkyjimmy.

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