Kokomo and Howard County Partner on Downtown Incentive Package

The City of Kokomo and Howard County Government have agreed to actively partner on qualified projects to convert vacant spaces of downtown Kokomo’s upper floors for residential and commercial use.

Howard County’s rent assistance program has helped several new first-floor, downtown restaurants and retailers establish a clientele. 

“The county’s Rent Abatement Program has transformed downtown by filling empty storefronts with successful businesses,” said Paul Wyman, Howard County Board of Commissioners President. “Our new Condo Incentive Plan, which complements the city’s Upper Story Conversion Grant, is tailored to rehab and fill the vacant upper stories with tenants.”

The City of Kokomo’s newest redevelopment incentive program targets the upper-stories of Kokomo’s historic 19th and 20th century buildings. Its Upper Floor Conversion Grant provides up to $12,000 per building to owners for converting vacant, second and third story space to residential and/or commercial use.

“The city and county share a goal to provide a mixed-use, incentive package to enhance economic growth in Kokomo’s urban and commercial core,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “This partnership spurs retail development and targets the growing demand for a mixed-use urban living experience."

Mixed-use developments incorporate more than one type of use for a building or area. In densely populated urban cores, it is common for retailers to occupy the first floor of large historic buildings while the upper floors contain apartments and/or condominiums.

The Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance works directly with both units of government to promote and identify businesses that might benefit from local incentives.

More information regarding both programs can be found at www.co.howard.in.us and at www.CityofKokomo.org Development Department Link.