Kokomo Continues Downtown 'Renaissance'

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Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says the proposed sale of a downtown building will bring new jobs, retail and foot traffic to the area. The city has agreed to sell the historic building to First Farmers Bank and Trust. The bank plans to lease two floors to Ivy Tech Community College for a discounted rate. First Farmers is planning renovations in hopes of attracting retail development. Ivy Tech's regional and state boards must still approve the deal.

October 1, 2013

News Release

First Farmers Bank and Trust has agreed to purchase downtown Kokomo's historic Armstrong Landon building from the City of Kokomo and lease two floors to Ivy Tech Community College at discount rate.

The City of Kokomo acquired the vacant, six-story building in June with the intent of bringing additional traffic and commercial redevelopment to downtown Kokomo.

"Through private investments, the City of Kokomo continues to develop downtown’s cultural district," said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. "This proposed partnership between First Farmers Bank and Trust and Ivy Tech is an acknowledgement of our community's social, economic and cultural growth potential."

The project will include a fully operational branch of First Famers Bank and Trust, representative offices for the bank wealth management division, as well as other strategic offices. Renovations are expected to begin soon with the goal of exploring more retail development for the building. The City of Kokomo will retain ownership of an offsite parking lot acquired when it purchased the Armstrong Landon building.

"Our organization continues to grow and this particular site firs our need for expanded office space in an area that is centrally located to our overall geographical footprint," said Gene Miles, president of First Farmers Bank and Trust. "The building itself has a wonderful history in the community and perfectly represents the ideals and focus of community banking. We are very proud to continue those traditions and renovate this historic structure for use in downtown Kokomo."

"Kokomo's downtown is certainly undergoing a renaissance with, among other improvements, new housing for senior citizens and military veterans, a new YMCA, Indiana University Kokomo’s new gym and Kokomo Schools’ international dorms," said Steve Daily, chancellor of Ivy Tech's Kokomo Region. "Locating some of our offices and seminar space on the historic courthouse square offers some exciting opportunities for Ivy Tech to be part of this rebirth and strengthen our connections to the community. We look forward to presenting this proposal to the Ivy Tech Kokomo Region trustees for consideration at their Oct. 1 meeting."

The Ivy Tech regional board meets Tuesday to consider the lease detail. If approved, the proposal will go to the Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees for final consideration during the board’s Oct. 9-10 meeting.

Source: City of Kokomo