By Ken de la Bastide Kokomo Tribune
---- — The Kokomo Common Council approved issuing up to $12 million in bonds to pay for a parking garage and apartment complex in downtown.
Council members voted unanimously Monday to issue the bonds for the project that will be on the west side of Union Street between Sycamore and Walnut streets.
Several banks have expressed interest in purchasing the bonds, which will be repaid in five years. Closing on the sale of the bonds is expected within the next 30 days.
The anticipated interest rate on the garage, which is tax exempt, is 2.4 percent and for the taxable apartments is 3.4 to 3.5 percent.
Scott Baldwin with Baldwin Companies said the apartments will lease for $1 per square foot per month.
“There are several different floor plans of 600 to 800 square feet,” Baldwin said.
He said there will be two or three units of 1,200 to 1,300 square feet for a two-bedroom unit with two bathrooms.
“We’re seeking young professionals to locate in the downtown,” Baldwin said. “All of the feedback has been positive.”
Baldwin said as the project stabilizes, developers will look differently at downtown Kokomo.
The structure will consist of a four-story parking garage costing no more than $9 million with a 35-unit apartment complex on top costing $4 million.
The city is considering appropriating up to $3 million from its cash reserves toward the parking garage project, city officials said earlier this month.
Lawrence McCormack, Kokomo city attorney, said the bond will be repaid using rents collected on the units and the city’s share of the 1 percent economic development income tax revenues (EDIT).
The garage will consist of 396 parking spaces with 43 reserved for the apartments. The plan is to allow two-hour free parking on the first floor and all-day parking on the second through fourth floors at no cost.
The council action came after the Kokomo Redevelopment Commission accepted the property from the city and transferred it to the North Union Street SPE, Inc., a subsidiary of the Kokomo Community Development Corp.
The three members of the Kokomo Community Development Corp. are Bob Stephenson, president; Joseph Link, vice president and Jennifer Lerche, secretary/treasurer.
McCormack said the Redevelopment Commission will lease the parking garage and co-lease the apartments.