Project to encompass entirety of land designated for industrial park
The $2.5 billion development announcement Tuesday by Stellantis and Samsung SDI brings to fruition a plan put in motion years ago by the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance.
Having long advocated for the need for an industrial park in Howard County, Alliance President and CEO Charlie Sparks was able to begin work in earnest on such a development in 2019.
“We pursued property acquisition because we needed available, market-ready land to position the community to compete for economic development opportunities,” Sparks said.
To that end, the Alliance partnered with the City of Kokomo and Howard County to purchase 142 acres of land adjacent to Indiana 931 (just south of East 300 North and the Kokomo Engine Plant) in 2021. For perspective, the property could house more than 100 football fields.
The acquisition put the community in a solid position to compete for the Stellantis/Samsung SDI development as a portion of the required property was immediately available.
“We didn’t expect results this quickly or at this scale,” Sparks said. Rather, he said, developments were expected to grow gradually. “We thought we’d see incremental development over a period of years.”
Attracting such a significant development so quickly was a welcome outcome. And it’s one that will further Kokomo’s position as a global leader in the automotive industry.
“We would like to thank our partner, Stellantis, for its continued investment, support, and faith in this community for over 85 years,” Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore. “We would also like to thank Samsung SDI for its confidence in us and look forward to working together for the decades to come. This multi-billion dollar investment will help solidify Kokomo as a global leader in automotive manufacturing.”
Sparks said, “The significance of today’s announcement will be felt in this community for decades,” Sparks said. “We appreciate the strong relationship we have developed with Stellantis and look forward to building the same type of partnership with Samsung SDI.”
Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman lauded the efforts of the Alliance and local elected officials that led to such a successful outcome.
“The industrial park is a great example of what can be accomplished when the county, the city and the business community, through the Alliance, partner together to move our community forward,” Wyman said. “We must continue to grow public/private partnerships to ensure our community is always positioned to attract these types of investments.”