|City of Cocoa|
Top row: Cocoa Welcome sign; Bottom row: Cocoa City Hall
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
|o Mayor||Henry U. Parrish, III|
|o City Manager||John Titkanich, Jr.|
|o Total||15.40 sq mi (39.89 km2)|
|o Land||13.33 sq mi (34.53 km2)|
|o Water||2.07 sq mi (5.36 km2)|
|Elevation||36 ft (11 m)|
|o Estimate (2016)||18,102|
|o Density||1,357.89/sq mi (524.28/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|o Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0280608|
Several stories circulate among Cocoa old timers as to how the town got its name. One story says that the mail used to come by river boat and was placed in an empty tin box labeled Baker's Cocoa. The box was nailed to a piling in the river next to downtown. Additionally, an early hotel in the area, located on the Indian River lagoon, was named Cocoa House.
In 1885, the S. F. Travis Hardware store opened. It is still in business in 2014.
The city was chartered in 1895. 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.
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.
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. In the early 1980s, 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.
Cocoa is located at .
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cocoa has its own fire department with three stations. There is a county fire department within the city limits.
In 2015 there were 69 police officers and 44 firemen.
As of the census 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.
According to the 2013 American Community Survey:
In 2008, Kel-Tec CNC Industries, located in Cocoa, was the third-largest manufacturer of pistols in the United States. Cocoa has 1,198 registered businesses that include light manufacturing and industrial, retail and office businesses.
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. 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.
The city area has the following educational institutions:
All are at least four-lane roads, unless otherwise designated.
The Florida East Coast Railway runs through Cocoa. The proposed All Aboard Florida's Brightline higher speed rail is designed to connect Orlando to Miami making a turn in Cocoa (designated the "Cocoa Curve").
Since 1957, Cocoa has supplied the communities of central Brevard County with potable water. Cocoa made major investments in the water supply and treatment facilities needed to produce a sub-regional water system.
In 2017, Cocoa provided an average of 23,000,000 US gallons (87,000,000 l; 19,000,000 imp gal) of water daily to over 80,000 customers (250,000 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. In 2014, the City re-furbished and re-painted the tower with the iconic American Flags.
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.
Cocoa High School has numerous state champion athletic teams. In 2015, the Cocoa High School football team was ranked 13th in the State of Florida and 1st in the Country and was on a 35-game winning streak against other Brevard County schools.