Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 27, 2013

City inks Firestone building deal

Developer hopes to lure office and retail tenants to downtown.

(Continued)

The building was donated to the Kokomo Redevelopment Commission, which approved the transfer of the property to the city’s Community Development Corp.

Prior to that, the city owned the building after receiving it from STAR Bank for a $10 fee in 2009.

The CDC is working to put together a deed to transfer the building to KipCor with restrictions, Kokomo Director of Operations Randy McKay said.

“KipCor is moving forward with it and working with the CDC on this,” McKay said. “We should begin to see renovations in the next three to four weeks.”

While it remains unclear exactly what type of businesses the building will attract, Broughton said he has received two verbal commitments from customers looking to inhabit the building’s second floor office space. He hopes to finalize contracts with those businesses in the next week and is confident KipCor will be able to bring more tenants on board in the near future.

In addition to a gourmet grocer, Broughton said other prospective businesses might include a coffee or bagel shop or a frozen yogurt store on the building’s ground floor.

In the meantime, KipCor is moving forward with renovations to the building’s façade and awning to restore a “1920s” look. The interior of the second floor will be “white-walled” with a concentration on renovating the lobby area and atrium leading up to the second floor.

Broughton, who owns properties in 32 states, said KipCor was established to hold properties, but he also owns properties under different investment groups while working out of California.

Indiana, and the Kokomo area in particular, was an attractive option for Broughton and KipCor because of the city’s low unemployment rate and its median income.

“One of the most exciting things about Kokomo is there are 10,000 people commuting in the market every day,” Broughton said. “Those are customers to me.”

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