Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 28, 2013

Ownership of Armstrong-Landon to be transferred

First Farmers expected to take possession today

By Ken de la Bastide
Kokomo Tribune

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CORRECTION: Gene Miles, president and CEO of First Farmers Bank & Trust, said Oct. 30, 2013, the bank does not intend to move its corporate headquarters to downtown Kokomo. "A couple media sources have incorrectly reported that we are moving our corporate headquarters to the Armstrong-Landon building in Kokomo, Ind. As discussed, we obviously do plan on locating some personnel and departments in the building, but reports of moving the corporate offices/headquarters from Converse are incorrect. “
 

The transfer of ownership of the tallest building in downtown Kokomo to First Farmers Bank and Trust is expected to be completed today.

The Kokomo Redevelopment Commission is expected to approve the sale of the Armstrong-Landon building to the bank, which intends to open a branch office on the southwest corner of Main and Sycamore Streets and to move from corporate offices to the facility.

First Farmers announced earlier this month that it was leasing 11,000 square feet of the building to Ivy Tech Community College for $10 per year. Ivy Tech is leasing the space for 15 years.

In June, the Kokomo Board of Public Works and Safety purchased the building and the parking lot behind the Armstrong-Landon building and the parking lot across from Superior Street for $395,000.

The Board of Works on Wednesday approved a resolution transferring ownership of the building to the Redevelopment Commission.

Terms of the sale to First Farmers Bank and Trust have not been disclosed. The Redevelopment Commission meets at 3:30 p.m. on the third floor of city hall.

The building has sat vacant since 2011 when Harris Bank moved out. Bolinger Enterprises purchased the building from Harris Bank for $200,000 in 2012.

The building was sold in 2002 to First National Bank & Trust for $5.3 million, according to county tax rates. Harris merged with First National in 2008.

In other business

The Board of Works approved a $30,700 contract with Mohr Construction for the creation of a streetscape along Union Street at the Kokomo/Howard County Public Library Main Branch.

The work to be done is on the east side of Union Street in front of the main branch of the library.

The work will include new curbs, sidewalks, brick pavers and antique street lights to match those on the north side of the library along Mulberry Street.

Work on the project can begin as soon on Tuesday when the notice to proceed will be issued.