Tribune staff writer
On the \west side of Union Street, neighbors will be living five stories up, in apartments grouped atop a new downtown parking garage.
On the other side of Union, a new downtown YMCA building will stand, carrying the torch passed from the 101-year-old former building to the north.
For the first time, the general Kokomo public can see how it will all look once the $27-million plan to transform downtown is finished in late 2015.
The news Monday, unveiled along with three-dimensional renderings, is that the greater part of that funding is in place. Groundbreaking will start in the next couple of weeks on a mixed-use parking garage/apartment development, and the Y construction will follow once the garage is complete.
“It is going to happen — in the very, very short term,” Kokomo Family YMCA director Dave Dubois told a gathering of public officials, donors and business leaders.
“I am so full of pride for this community right now. So many people have stepped forward and given their time, talents and treasure,” Y campaign chairman Ron Metz said.
“I am convinced in my being we are going to have the support of everyone in this community, because it really is a vision of making a better home for ourselves and our children. This really is a legacy project.”
Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight announced Monday the city will team up with a private development to build a 400-space, four level parking garage topped with an apartment complex of around 33 units.
The YMCA will build a 73,000-square-foot facility, with a health and wellness center, a lap pool, instructional warm water pool, multi-purpose rooms, a teen center, a chapel, two gyms and a running track, at a cost of about $15 million.
Goodnight announced Monday the city will contribute $4 million to the Y project, on top of its investment in the parking facility.
“There is quite a bit of momentum in Kokomo right now,” Goodnight said. “This is really the next step in continuing that progress.”