By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
---- — In time for the 2014 election season, the Howard County Democratic Party is relocating its headquarters to a new location, which is also allowing a retail outlet to move into the downtown.
The party headquarters is moving from the northwest corner of Buckeye and Walnut streets to the third floor of the former Oddfellows building at 341 N. Main St.
The historic third floor is being renovated to house the party’s meeting and office space. The Democratic Party’s move is part of a deal that enables a local small business, Kokomo Toys, to expand its operations and move downtown.
“We have outgrown our current location and have been looking for a larger location for a few months,” David Tharp, chairman of the Howard County Democratic Party, said. “Our meetings are currently standing-room only. This new location is much larger.”
In addition to providing a larger space for the Democratic Party, the move will enable Kokomo Toys to expand and relocate downtown. Kokomo Toys is currently located at 1244 E. Morgan St.
“Kokomo Toys’ expansion and relocation to downtown would not have been possible without the support and assistance of the Howard County Democratic Party,” said Amber Jordan, owner of Kokomo Toys. “I really appreciate the Democratic Party’s commitment to local small businesses.”
The move to an upper story in the downtown core comes after the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association listed the rehabilitation of upper stories as
a top priority in its updated Downtown Master Plan.
“This is a great move for the Democratic Party,” Tharp said. “The larger space fits our needs better, we are helping a local business expand, and we are encouraging sound urban development policies.”
The renovations are expected to be completed by Jan. 1.