Henke Development Group, the developer of Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield, is planning an estimated $77 million investment on the city’s East side near US 31. The project would develop 16 out lots on land directly east of Darrough Chapel Park. The development would include new business, office, retail and restaurant space along with new hotels.
In addition to the private commercial development, an estimated $9 million development by the City of Kokomo would create eight new multi-purpose fields – four high school-sized and four youth league-sized at Darrough Chapel Park. The artificial turf fields would be arranged in two quad-plex, diamond-shaped setups with concessions and other amenities in the middle. Parts of Darrough Chapel Park would remain intact including the Veteran’s Memorial, located near the entrance of the park.
“This will be a tremendous asset for our local sports programs,” said Mayor Greg Goodnight. “From baseball to softball, a facility of this kind will create opportunities for the youth in the community. This also will bring an influx of visitors to Kokomo each weekend during tournament season.”
Besides Grand Park, the premier facility of its kind in Indiana, the Henke Development Group also developed The Club at Chatham Hills, a residential golf course community. CEO Steve Henke sees Kokomo has a natural fit for this kind of development.
“Henke Development is excited to bring a championship-level project to the City of Kokomo, The Championship Park of Kokomo,” said Henke. “This mixed-use development will incorporate the highest-quality turf softball and baseball fields for all levels from little league to high school. This athletic complex will be coupled with premium commercial development sites which will include retail, hospitality, offices and many other quality tax-generating businesses for the City. Our goal is not only to provide a premier youth sports and commercial destination, but it will also be a place for the residents of Kokomo to be proud of.”
The addition of the multi-purpose fields would change the face of local sports, including youth baseball and softball programs, according to former Major League baseball player and Kokomo native Joe Thatcher.
“Championship Park will be a positive for the baseball community in Kokomo,” Thatcher said. “A facility of this size and quality will allow the development of softball and baseball programs locally to excel to levels they’ve never seen.”