Broughton noted that the city’s willingness to work with him to provide the space for redevelopment has made Kokomo an attractive option, along with its downtown structure.
“The city has been great to work with,” he said. “We told (the city) we’d do all of the renovations and do our best to bring people into the building, and in turn, we wanted the building. Our ultimate goal is for the city to have a more vibrant downtown. I see an opportunity to at least rehabilitate the building, which is a start in building up the downtown.”
Prior to the agreement with KipCor, the Kokomo Redevelopment Commission received soil and groundwater testing results after engineers searched the Firestone Building and found six inches of water in the basement and potential environmental issues associated with the building’s past life as an automotive center/gas station, a machine shop and printer’s shop.
Those concerns were put to rest, however, after Phase 1 and Phase 2 environmental studies conducted with funds from federal brownfield grants passed standards, McKay said.
McKay said he is looking forward to the building’s reincarnation.
“We are certainly pleased with the design and the intent of the developers,” he said. “Hopefully they can make it look like the designs we’ve seen in the photos they’ve provided.”