Cocoa, Florida

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Cocoa, Florida
City of Cocoa
Cocoa Welcomes You.JPG
Cocoa City Hall.jpg
Top row: Cocoa Welcome sign; Bottom row: Cocoa City Hall
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 28°22′10″N 80°44′38″W / 28.36944°N 80.74389°W / 28.36944; -80.74389Coordinates: 28°22′10″N 80°44′38″W / 28.36944°N 80.74389°W / 28.36944; -80.74389
Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Brevard
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Mayor Henry U. Parrish, III
 • City Manager John Titkanich, Jr.
 • Total 15.4 sq mi (39.9 km2)
 • Land 13.3 sq mi (34.5 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5.4 km2)
Elevation 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 17,140
 • Density 1,100/sq mi (430/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 321
FIPS code 12-13150[2]
GNIS feature ID 0280608[3]

Cocoa is a city in Brevard County, Florida. The population was 17,140 at the 2010 United States Census.[1] It is part of the Palm BayMelbourneTitusville Metropolitan Statistical Area.


In 1885, the S. F. Travis Hardware store opened. It is still in business in 2014.[4]

Cocoa's business district was destroyed by fire in 1890, but soon, significant development began to occur with the extension of the Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Indian River Railway to Cocoa.[citation needed]

The city was chartered in 1895.[5] In the winter of 1894-1895, Cocoa experienced a second economic setback when the "Great Freeze" destroyed the citrus crop and forced many citrus workers to seek new occupations. According to one source, by 1903, the population of Cocoa had dropped to 382.

During the second decade of the 20th century, population growth and economic development in Cocoa accelerated. The state business directory of 1911-1912 set the population at 550. By 1925, the population was estimated at 1,800. During the Great Depression, the local economy declined and the two local banks failed. Still, by 1930, the population had risen to 2,200.[citation needed]

The population rose dramatically following the development of the space industry, quadrupling from 3,098 in 1940 to 12,244 in 1960. Cocoa and the surrounding area also became integrated with the tourist industry for the first time as thousands visited the area to witness the launches from Cape Canaveral. By 1980, the population had grown to 16,096.[6]

Education was segregated until the 1960's, at which time Monroe High School and elementary schools for black students were closed.[7]

In 1964, the Cocoa Expo Sports Center (Cocoa Stadium) was built for the Colt 45s spring baseball training and Grapefruit League games. The team later became the Houston Astros.[8] In the early 1980's, the city attempted to upgrade the stadium by asking the Astros to pay for needed repairs. In 1985, the team responded by moving its training to Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee. As a result, it was decided that future negotiations with major league teams would be done by the county government.

Clearlake Middle School was closed in 2013. Students were moved to Cocoa High School, which was converted to a junior and senior high school.[9]


The Hubert H. Humphrey Bridge spans the Indian River Lagoon, linking Cocoa with Merritt Island.

Cocoa is located at 28°22′10″N 80°44′38″W / 28.369334°N 80.743779°W / 28.369334; -80.743779.[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.4 square miles (39.9 km2). 13.3 square miles (34.5 km2) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) of it (13.46%) is water.[11]


The Cocoa Bird Count has annually counted species of birds in or near Cocoa since 1950. In 2010, it counted 150 species. There was an annual "Christmas Bird Count" before this, starting in 1900.[12]


Cocoa first approved the Council-Manager form of government in 1959, and subsequent changes to the state statutes mirrored the City of Cocoa's Council-Manager Plan. The City Council serves as the Board of Directors for the City, with the Mayor as Chairman. The City Manager serves as the Chief Executive. The City Council for the City of Cocoa is made up of five members; the Mayor is elected at large and the four council members are elected by each of their districts.

  • Mayor - Henry U. Parrish, III[clarification needed]
  • Councilman, District 1 - Michael Blake
  • Councilwoman, District 2 - Brenda Warner
  • Councilman, District 3 - Don Boisvert
  • Councilman, District 4 - Tyler Furbish
  • City Manager (appointed) - John Titkanich, Jr.[13]

Downtown, now called "Cocoa Village", has been revitalized by funding for public infrastructure through the Cocoa Redevelopment Agency, City and private investment.

In 2007, the city had a taxable real estate base of $1.18 billion.[14]

Cocoa has its own fire department with three stations. There is a county fire department within the city limits.[15]

In 2015 there were 69 police officers and 44 firemen.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 312
1900 382 22.4%
1910 613 60.5%
1920 1,445 135.7%
1930 2,164 49.8%
1940 3,098 43.2%
1950 4,245 37.0%
1960 12,294 189.6%
1970 16,110 31.0%
1980 16,096 −0.1%
1990 17,722 10.1%
2000 16,412 −7.4%
2010 17,140 4.4%
Est. 2014 17,419 [16] 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[17]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 16,412 people, 6,939 households, and 4,232 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,200.3 inhabitants per square mile (849.4/km2). There were 8,064 housing units at an average density of 1,081.1 per square mile (417.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.47% White, 32.28% African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 1.58% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.93% of the population.

There were 6,939 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 19.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was distributed as follow: 26.4% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.


Cocoa Riverfront Park; Emory Bennett Statue

Personal income[edit]

According to the 2013 American Community Survey:

  • Median household income = $32,162
  • Median family income = $40,252
  • Median income for males = $45,274
  • Median income for females = $28,779
  • Per capita income = $20,350
  • Below the poverty line:
  • Population = 27.1%


In 2008, Kel-Tec CNC Industries, located in Cocoa, was the third-largest manufacturer of pistols in the United States.[18][19] Cocoa has 1,198 registered businesses that include light manufacturing and industrial, retail and office businesses.[citation needed]


In 2015, 7,813 persons were employed with 84% having a high school education or higher.


Tourism is high in the downtown historic business district. There is high traffic from the cruise passenger tourists coming from Port Canaveral on excursions or day trips.[citation needed] There are historic features as well as local attractions such as the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science, the Eastern Florida State College Planetarium and Observatory, Historic Cocoa Village, the Florida Historical Society, Indian River Queen (excursion boat), Indian River Drive scenic by-pass, the Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse, Historic Porcher House, and Riverfront Park. Historic Cocoa Village has shopping and 2 Golden Spoon award winning restaurants, and boutiques. There are over 50 special events each year.[citation needed]


The city area has the following educational institutions:



Major roads[edit]

All are at least four-lane roads, unless otherwise designated.


The Florida East Coast Railway runs through Cocoa. The proposed All Aboard Florida high speed rail is designed to connect Orlando to Miami making a turn in Cocoa (designated the "Cocoa Curve").


Space Coast Area Transit operates a public bus service in Cocoa and vicinity.[24][25]


Water tower

Since 1957, Cocoa has supplied the communities of central Brevard County with high quality water at a reasonable cost. Cocoa has accomplished this by making major investments in the water supply and treatment facilities needed to produce a sophisticated, well-developed sub-regional water system.

Today Cocoa provides water to over 80,000 customers (200,000+ people) in Cocoa, Rockledge, Port St. John, Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Suntree/Viera, Patrick Air Force Base, Kennedy Space Center and Port Canaveral.

Cocoa's water system includes the wellfield and raw water collection system, Wewahootee Water Treatment Plant, transmission mains, and the Dyal Water Treatment Plant (WTP). Cocoa's drinking water sources include the Floridian Aquifer, Intermediate Aquifer, Taylor Creek Reservoir, and Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells. All of these facilities are located in east Orange County. A distribution system and storage pumping facilities are located in Brevard County.

The Dyal WTP processes about nine billion gallons per year, with peak flows reaching 38 million gallons per day (mgd) during the summer. Daily flows average 25 mgd. The Dyal WTP is unusual for Central Florida because it is capable of treating both ground and surface water.

The flag was originally painted on the water tower free of charge by a Greek immigrant. He wanted to decorate the tower in time for the United States bicentennial celebration in 1976.[26] In 2014, the City re-furbished and re-painted the tower with the iconic American Flags.


Radio stations[edit]

Television station[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

Historic sites[edit]

Porcher House in Cocoa Village


The Houston Astros held spring training in Cocoa from 1964 through 1984, and the Florida Marlins trained in Cocoa in 1993. Cocoa Stadium was also the long-time home of the Florida State League Cocoa Astros.

In 2009, the Space Coast Surge, a member of the Florida Winter Baseball League, had Cocoa Stadium as its home stadium.[28] The league suspended operations in November 2009.[29]

Cocoa High School has numerous state champion athletic teams. In 2015, the Cocoa High School football team was ranked 1st in the State of Florida and 13th in the Country and was on a 35 game winning streak against other Brevard County schools.

Notable people[edit]

Sister city[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Cocoa city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "History". The S.F. Travis Company. 2014-02-26. 
  5. ^ "History". 2010-01-17. 
  6. ^ History Cocoa, Fla. Official Website. Accessed on 2009-06-24.
  7. ^ Basu, Rebecca (14 March 2010). "Cocoa's class of 1950 shares life stories at reunion". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1D. 
  8. ^ "Houston Astros Spring Training". Spring Training Online. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "School Board Votes To Shutter Three Schools". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Cocoa city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 27, 2012. 
  12. ^ Winston, Keith (25 December 2010). "Brevard Naturally:Citizen scientists collect vital information". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 4D. 
  13. ^ Berman, David (November 27, 2011). "Cocoa pays manager $115,000". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1B. 
  14. ^ Dean, James (April 26, 2008). More taxes or fewer services. Florida Today. 
  15. ^ "The Fact Book". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). March 26, 2011. p. 29. 
  16. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
  19. ^ [1] retrieved August 24, 2008 Archived May 12, 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Cocoa High School
  21. ^ Eastern Florida State College
  22. ^ Cocoa Campus
  23. ^ Rick Neale (2010-09-15). "'State of the System' identifies Brevard County's busiest roads". Florida Today. Florida Today. 
  24. ^ Space Coast Area Transit official website
  25. ^ "Interactive System Map". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  26. ^ "Featured Articles about Water Tower - Page 4 - Orlando Sentinel". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  27. ^ "Libraries and Collections | Florida Journalism History Project". 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  28. ^ "車査定". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  29. ^ Leesburg Daily Commercial article, November 19, 2009
  30. ^ "Jumaine Lanard Jones". Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  31. ^ Schaefer, Gayla. "Communities create ties: Cocoa, Israeli town become sister cities with ceremony", Florida Today, September 28, 2007. Accessed October 7, 2007. "As of Sunday, Oct. 7, the city of Cocoa and the city of Beit Shemesh, Israel will become sisters."

External links[edit]