Tag Archives: Kokomo Perspective

Kokomo Construction Roundup: March 2012

It was a beautiful day yesterday and after work I decided to go on a long bike ride. On that ride, I decided to go take a look at how some of the known construction projects downtown are developing. For the first time in what seems like my whole entire life, Kokomo has many different projects going on downtown at the same time. Here are three of the projects that have visible changes as of 3/6/12. As the construction season begins, this list will grow to include some of the other downtown development news.

Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Outreach Building

My first stop was the Outreach Building for the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library. To my surprise, the building is coming along quite quickly. You can see that as of yesterday the building’s supports are in place and the shear mass of a building is starting to take shape. From the elevation images and the articles that I’ve come across, the building won’t be a design icon in the downtown district. Although it won’t be the most beautiful building, it does provide density to a block where a parking lot previously sat.  It does provide a good street wall to both Market and Mulberry Streets, which helps enclose the street and promotes walkability. One of the MAJOR design flaws is how close the building is to the neighboring structures and doesn’t fit in well with the previously existing urban fabric in that area. The building’s orientation is exactly how I would have designed it, but I would have had more visible facade changes to mimic the existing look and feel of the surrounding structures. This is just a cookie cutter building that doesn’t provide much value and similar if not exact replicas of this structure could be found in an infinite number of communities in the world.

More on the Library Outreach Building is here in a Kokomo Tribune article.

Senior Housing Development

The Senior Housing development that I’ve previously highlighted on this blog, got some great news recently that will help get this project rolling. According to the most recent Kokomo Perspective and Kokomo Tribune newspapers, the St. Mary Development Corp. received a federal rental housing tax credit of $900,429 in addition to a $250,000 loan both from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Within the past couple weeks, the site has been cleared and the old Hoosier Wholesale building was demolished. Site prep is ongoing and construction should begin on the $9 million project this July with a completion date in 2013.

PNC Bank Facade Improvement

Another urban design improvement downtown is the facade improvement of the PNC bank at the corner of Mulberry and Buckeye Streets. This one has a bit of mystery behind it as I have no idea how the end result will turn out. If a certain development firm is in control of it, I’m sure it will end badly, disastrous, ugly or  tasteless. I’ll get more into that in a blog entry at a later date… As for right now all we have is the facade with orange fencing near the base awaiting for construction.

Not exactly a “downtown” project but I am most certainly excited for the extension of the Industrial Heritage Trail: The current southern terminus (Boulevard) pictured below facing south to the potential future IHT extension.

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Senior Citizen Housing development coming to downtown Kokomo

Yesterday in the Kokomo Perspective a new development downtown was revealed on a currently dilapidated parcel near the Railroad Station district of downtown Kokomo. The project includes 50-70 units in a 3-4 story building located at the intersection of Washington and Taylor Streets across the road from the Masonic Temple. The project was mentioned here in the Kokomo Tribune.

Senior Housing Site Plan (Image: Redrawn by Ross Pierce 8/8/11)

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Rebranding the Kokomo Mall: Life after Elder-Beerman?

Is this the end of the Kokomo Mall as we now know it? Announced publicly Thursday and yesterday in the Kokomo Tribune, Elder-Beerman (a long-standing anchor in the Kokomo Mall) made the decision to close their Kokomo Mall location and open a Carson Pirie Scott in the Markland Mall where Macy’s once stood.

Kokomo Mall (Note: dated exterior)

There is no real way of knowing if the Kokomo Mall will turn around, but if we look at this at a development standpoint there are two good aspects to this change. It is a good thing that the company isn’t closing up shop completely in Kokomo, and we are filling a huge gap within the Markland Mall. The bad – A mall that is having a hard time to compete with the Simon-owned mall (Markland Mall) is going to have a even harder time competing with one less anchor. In my mind, the “good” mall  just got better, the “bad” mall just got worse. Continue reading

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Renovation of KHCPL by krM Architects

Library Before Renovation

Before I started Kokomotive, I wrote a short article about the proposed (at the time) renovation of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library Main Branch. Originally, the library board was intending to build a new structure downtown in coordination with a new YMCA building as a bold attempt for downtown revitalization. If you live in Kokomo, you are probably aware that the library had many factors that resulted in the decision to renovate the current library building instead. I’ve had been following the plans for a newly constructed library downtown up until the final product and originally was disappointed to hear that they were planning on only renovating the existing library. I then found some images the architects created of a completely different exterior that are shown below, which gave me high hopes for the library project. Continue reading

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$8.5 million affordable housing project moves forward

Water Tower Place Site Location

Today’s newspaper announced that the $8.5 million Water Tower Place at Kingston Square project is one step closer to becoming a reality. The development is located on the vacant Kingston Factory site on north Webster Street. The housing project is estimated to include 50-60 affordable units on a tract of land just under 4 acres and will replace a large blighted property in the target area of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The developer of the project is Mecca Companies, Inc. of Michigan City, which the city has worked with on a Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) in the same target area. The same company is also noted for the recently proposed housing development near IUK geared toward college-aged students. With the approval of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and the NSP the project begins to move forward. Continue reading

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Bus Shelters for the City Line

In the Kokomo Perspective recently, there was an article covering the next development with the City Line bus service. The city is currently looking into funding for bus shelters for the new service that was introduced last fall.

Kokomo City Line Trolley (image: http://www.insideindianabusiness.com)

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