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Kokomo begins housing development project

(Provided Photo/David Potter/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

KOKOMO, Ind. (WIBC) — You’ve probably driven past an empty parking lot and thought someone should do something with that property. The City of Kokomo is trying to make something like that happen.

The Kokomo Infill Program is a simple concept: turnover vacant lots owned or maintained by the Kokomo Community Development Corporation (KCDC) and hand them over to individual developers. The developers sign an agreement, all fees waived, and are given one year to build housing.

The first time the city tried this program, it ended with mixed results.

Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore explains, “got a little too costly. I mean, we were working with contractors and the costs of materials and the cost to build versus what the turnaround sale would be was not very conducive. Because there had been some recent interest in individual developers, we thought that we would be more intentional on an infill program, especially to address the housing shortage that we’ve faced.”

“They (developers) will have a year to build that out,” explains Weston Reed, director of development for the City of Kokomo, “the property will be transferred to them.”

Quality work and structure integrity is a priority, says the KCDC. There are strict guidelines in place, which are available for you to read on the KCDC’s web site.

“Part of the guidelines is building restrictions. So, you’re not going to be able to go in and slap-up garbage and be able to pass,” says Reed. Mayor Moore says if this version of the infill program is successful, then it will pave the way for future installments, “part of what round two will look like, is again learning from the first round. The same way we learned from the previous infill program. What worked and what didn’t work.”