Kokomo city officials and representatives from Henke Development Group, the developer of Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, broke ground at the site of Championship Park, an estimated $86 million investment on the city’s east side near US 31. The project will develop 16 out lots on land directly east of the current Darrough Chapel Park. The development includes new business, office, retail and restaurant space along with new hotels.
In addition to the private commercial development, an estimated $11.4 million development by the City of Kokomo will create eight new multi-purpose fields – four high school-sized and four youth league-sized for both baseball and softball. The artificial turf fields will be arranged in two quadplex diamond-shaped setups with concessions and other amenities in the middle. Parts of the proposed site will remain intact including the Howard County Veteran’s Memorial, located near the entrance of the park.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our community and for our youth,” said Mayor Tyler Moore. “Championship Park will become a destination for athletic teams from across the state and the Midwest. Just as importantly, it creates a great space for our own local teams.”
Besides Grand Park, the premier facility of its kind in Indiana, Henke Development Group has also developed The Club at Chatham Hills, a residential golf course community.
Henke Development Group CEO, Steve Henke is excited about bringing the development to Kokomo.
“We are eager to get this project underway in a city with a rich baseball history,” Henke said. “This not only brings an economic benefit to Kokomo but it brings first class fields.”
Former Major League Baseball player and Kokomo native, Joe Thatcher was on hand representing KUBS, the group formed to consolidate the local youth baseball and softball leagues.
“For me some of my best memories in baseball were playing baseball at UCT Park,” said Thatcher. “It is time for young players to build friendships and create memories. This will be a tremendous facility for our youth.”