Report Builder
Chamber of Commerce Downtown Association
700 E. Firmin Street, Suite 200
Economic Development Inventrek Technology Park
700 E. Firmin Street, Suite 200
Visitors Bureau
700 E. Firmin Street, Suite 200

Restored Inventrek facility will house all Alliance units


When the tornadoes struck the Kokomo community on Aug. 24, 2016, the full weight of Inventrek’s footprint on our business community was felt. The facility’s closure left 27 businesses and organizations scrambling for office space.

Now, the Alliance is in the process of reopening the state-of-the-art facility and 17 of those tenants are choosing to return to the East Firmin Street property. Joining them will be the entire Alliance operations, including the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Downtown Association.

“The Alliance is centralizing its operations into what is essentially a brand new facility,” said Charlie Sparks, president/CEO of the Alliance. “It simply makes good fiscal sense that our own operating units are counted among the facility’s new tenants.

“It’s important that we use the resources made available to us in the most effective way possible for the benefit of our members and our community,” Sparks continued. “This move promotes not just fiscal efficiencies but operational efficiencies as well. From an operational standpoint, we have all worked out of one office space for the last six months as Inventrek was rebuilt and we have found that the proximity enhances our ability to work as a team.”

Alliance begins partnership with Kokomo Family YMCA

The move also sets the stage for an exciting new partnership between the Alliance and the Kokomo Family YMCA. It will allow the Downtown Association to maintain a physical presence in downtown and allow the YMCA an opportunity to expand its reach further into the community through utilization of the Inventrek facility.

“Leadership at the Y readily stepped up to create a partnership that allows the Alliance to continue to have a presence in downtown,” Sparks said. “Much of the Alliance’s programming has long had a focus on downtown and the Y is an integral part of that landscape, so we are excited to see how this partnership unfolds in the coming weeks.”

Bryan Soper, CEO of the Kokomo Family YMCA, said a partnership between the two entities makes sense for the downtown community.

"Our location makes us a smart geographic partner for the Alliance, but it's really our mission that makes us a great fit," Soper said. "The Y exists to strengthen our community, so we are happy to continue supporting the work of the Downtown Association, the Kokomo Downtown Farmers Market and the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance. We hope to continue to amplify their excellent work."

The downtown association will continue to serve as a leader for the downtown movement, and its many quality-of-life initiatives and events — such as Keep Kokomo Beautiful, First Fridays, Bike Nights, public art projects, etc. — will go unchanged.

Priorities will remain

“The location of the Alliance is changing, not its mission,” Sparks said. “Each of the Alliance’s units will continue to offer their many valuable programs and services to the community we serve.

“We believe the Alliance’s expanded presence at the Inventrek facility will increase the community’s access to this great resource and create more awareness of the benefits the facility brings to the community,” Sparks said. “We are confident it will help fuel what we believe will be a renewed atmosphere of innovation, entrepreneurialism and growth here in Howard County.

A grand opening celebration at the Inventrek facility is set for May 11.