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Regional Cities Initiative

  • Evansville Regional Airport to Undergo Renovations Through RCI

    by Lindsay Devlin | Dec 19, 2016

    The Evansville Regional Terminal Building was designed 30 years ago, and must undergo infrastructure updates in order to remain functional and competitive. Functional improvements to the airport include reconfiguring the TSA security gates, increasing the utilization of jet ways and updating their terminal's restrooms, restaurants and parking. Additionally, the airport will undergo renovations to update its appearance.

    The updated terminal will improve the region’s connectivity and help local companies grow their businesses, attract talent, develop new customers and improve the quality of supply chains. Design work and bid packages should be finished within the coming weeks.

    Gov. Pence EVV

    Beth McFadin Higgins, president of the Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority said of the project, "The Evansville Regional Airport is the gateway to Southwest Indiana and the first impression travelers receive. It is important for this first impression to provide a welcoming environment along with the modern amenities of the 21st century traveler."

  • RCI To Add Housing & Amenities Near Victoria National Golf Club

    by Lindsay Devlin | Dec 07, 2016
    The Victoria Lifestyle Development project consists of adding 550 residences in a lifestyle community sprawled over 405 acres in Warrick County. The lifestyle development will be comprised of quaint villages, parks, amenities and a trail system, which will be incorporated into the Warrick County Trail. 

    The project will complement Victoria National Golf Club, one of the top 50 golf courses in the United States, and will incorporate a variety of architectural styles with a diverse mix of price points. Planning, designing and permitting for this project is already underway with plans to break ground in early 2017. Residents are expected to move in by early 2018. 

    Total Project Investment: $54.64 million
    State funding: $2 million 

    "The Lifestyle Development at Victoria is a perfect pairing with the goals and ambitions of the Regional Cities Initiative," said Nick Cassala, president and general manager, Greenlife Development.  "With the talent projections of southwest Indiana, this master planned community located near Victoria National Golf Club and the new Warrick County Park will provide amenities that focus on wellness and connectivity that top talent looks for when evaluating employment options." 
  • The Redevelopment of Downtown Evansville's YMCA is Two-Fold

    by Lindsay Devlin | Nov 22, 2016

    This project includes the redevelopment of the downtown Evansville YMCA and the creation of Central Lofts, a 60-65 unit affordable housing development. Central Lofts will be developed in the historic 1913 YMCA Building, which will be vacated upon the completion of the newly developed YMCA, located on the 200 block of 6th street in Evansville. The YMCA is planning to break ground on the facility in the fall of 2017, with completion expected by the end of 2018. The housing component of the project will follow the completion of the YMCA.

    The redevelopment of the downtown YMCA and the creation of additional housing options is an integral part of the focus on the revitalization of downtown Evansville, providing quality of place support to many of the other planned projects, specifically supporting engagement opportunities for medical students and the growing downtown residential community, which is expected to increase by 2,500 residents by 2025. 

    “The Evansville Downtown YMCA is excited to be one of the projects included in the Regional Cities Plan,” said Derrick Stewart, chief executive officer, YMCA of Southwestern Indiana. “With the improvements to the downtown campus, this project will help serve as a valued amenity to our current members as well as the projected thousands of future residents to downtown.”

  • Project Spotlight: ETHOS Science Center Robotics and Innovation Hub

    by Lindsay Devlin | Nov 03, 2016

    The ETHOS Science Center in Elkhart offers a variety of hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programming for students and teachers. In order to accommodate its rapidly growing programs and activities, including the high-demand robotics program, ETHOS plans to move into a long vacant building at 1025 N. Michigan Ave. in Elkhart, which was donated by Bayer. Regional Cities funding will be used to transform the building into a facility that will allow ETHOS to serve as a regional provider of STEM programming and specifically its k-12 robotics programs.

    Patsy Boehler, executive director of the ETHOS Science Center said of the project, “Thanks to the IEDC's approval of the Regional Cities Initiative funding, we will be able to move forward with the exciting renovation of the Bayer Corp. building. These dollars plus a $250,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County and their $1 million challenge grant will be the stimulus needed as we launch our fundraising drive to obtain the remaining local dollars. The momentum the IEDC and RCI are bringing is fantastic. We are deeply appreciative!"

  • Skyline Tower: Officially Under Construction!

    by Lindsay Devlin | Oct 27, 2016

    Located in downtown Fort Wayne, construction on the 12-story Skyline Tower has officially begun! Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb joined Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and local economic development leaders to break ground on the mixed-use development that will house retail, commercial office space and 10 floors of residential space. The project is part of Northeast Indiana’s Road to One Million plan, which aims to attain one million residents by 2020 by advance quality of place throughout the 11-county region. 


    This project will continue to attract talent to the northeast Indiana region. John Sampson, president and chief executive officer of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership said, “The Skyline Tower is exactly the kind of project for which the Regional Cities Initiative is designed – to encourage investment that makes Northeast Indiana a place people want to live and work. The project is already attracting other exciting and vibrant investments in the central city.”

  • Mixed-Use Commerce Center Moving Forward in South Bend

    by Lindsay Devlin | Oct 24, 2016
    This new construction project will add more than 200 residential units, a full-service grocery store and pharmacy in the East Bank Village of downtown South Bend. The mixed-use space will be located at 401 E. Colfax Ave. in South Bend, which is part of an 100-year-old building complex that formerly served as a power plant and currently houses several technology and medical companies. This quality of place project will enable residents and visitors to easily access services and interact with others, contributing to the region's goal of creating high-performing communities. 

    David Matthews, developer with Matthews LLC said of the quality of place project, "We love South Bend, Indiana; this is our home, and we are grateful for the partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Thanks to their support, this project will bring South Bend’s thriving downtown neighborhood a much desired full-service grocery store and pharmacy years ahead of schedule. This accelerated project is in the heart of South Bend, adjacent to a white water rapids course, fantastic parks, lively theaters and the largest concentrated work force in our region. It will help the region grow, attract more development and lead to a larger tax base."
  • IEDC Approves Funding for The Mill At Ironworks Plaza in North Central

    by Lindsay Devlin | Oct 21, 2016

    The Mill at Ironworks Plaza will add 233 market-rate luxury apartment units and 16,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space in the heart of downtown Mishawaka on 3.8 acres near the Beutter Park Riverfront. The new development is estimated to generate more than $500,000 in new real estate taxes to the community each year. The Mill at Ironworks Plaza sets a tone for downtown Mishawaka, creating density, serving as an amenity and increasing social connectivity by creating a centrally-located space for residents and visitors to live, shop, work and play in one of north central Indiana's urban cores. 

    The Mill at Ironworks

    Brian Prince, the lead project developer with Flaherty & Collins Properties elaborated on the project,saying "We’re thrilled to have partnership from the Indiana Economic Development Council on this transformative project. We believe The Mill at Ironworks Plaza will not only add quality housing, but will also create new tax revenues for the city, as well as roughly 375 jobs through construction, retail tenants and the property staff. The development creates a destination where people want to live, work and play, helping attract employers and retain employees in Mishawaka.”

  • Huntington's Little River Trail

    by Lindsay Devlin | Oct 20, 2016

    IEDC President joined Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters and local economic development leaders to break ground on the Little River Trail, which connects downtown Huntington to the larger trail system that is being developed in Huntington County and the Northeast Indiana region. 


    This trail will rehabilitate the former Wabash Railroad depot in downtown, establishing a trailhead for trail users and a home for HARTA, the local trails’ advocacy group. This project will connect and leverage an additional five to six miles of trails in Huntington while connecting the community with the northeast Indiana region’s expansive regional trail network planned through its Regional Cities Initiative Road to One Million plan.   

  • Embassy Theatre is the First Organization in Northeast Indiana to Receive RCI Funding

    by Lindsay Devlin | Oct 18, 2016

    The historic theater is the first organization in the northeast region to receive state matching funds from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. The theater renovation, which was included as part of northeast Indiana’s Road to One Million Plan, will act as a key downtown venue for arts and entertainment. 

    The funds, which totaled $1,745,180, were disbursed at the RDA’s board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. The board met in the Embassy Theatre’s newly renovated ballroom. 

    CHECK Oct 18 2016

    “The Regional Cities Initiative gives the Embassy vital resources to finish our $10 million Vision for the Embassy capital campaign,” said Kelly Updike, executive director of the Embassy Theatre. “The grant provides our organization the opportunity to eliminate construction loans. It is an extraordinary gift. The project is complete and we are welcoming guests.”

    The Embassy’s renovation project turned four floors of the former Indiana Hotel, which sat vacant for nearly 40 years, into a two-story-high ballroom, breakout and rehearsal spaces, new administrative offices, classrooms, history center and improved public access and concessions areas. A rooftop patio also was added. The new spaces will help meet the needs of renters who have been turned away due to the building's full schedule and/or capacity limitations. 

  • Coalition and Diverse Business Alliance team up to help businesses connect

    by Lindsay Devlin | Oct 04, 2016

    By Greg Wathen
    The Southwest Indiana Chamber’s Diverse Business Alliance and the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana co-hosted an event where diverse businesses could hear more details on the 11 projects within the Regional Cities plan of Indiana’s Great Southwest and make connections with project partners. 

    “What every successful community knows is that diversity is an economic driver; and, that’s very important to the future business environment in Southwest Indiana,” said Greg Wathen, President & CEO of the Coalition. 

    In the video below listen as organizers Wathen and Mark Sebree of Sebree Consulting on behalf of the Diverse Business Alliance; and, participant, Maura G. Robinson of Innovative Energy Solutions tell why this connection is so important to Southwest Indiana. 

    For more information contact:
    Greg Wathen, APR 
    Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana

  • Indiana’s Great Southwest approves Warrick Wellness Trail and Victoria Development

    by Lindsay Devlin | Sep 19, 2016

    The Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) approved two projects to receive Regional Cities funding, the Warrick Wellness Trail and Victoria Master Plan Development, which both projects were part of Indiana’s Great Southwest plan.  Claim forms will now be submitted to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) for their review and approval. 

    The Warrick Wellness Trail is requesting $1.5 million in Regional Cities funding for amenities such as creating a biking/walking path and enhanced landscaping within the medical campus as well as provide necessary water service to the medical business park.  The date of completion is expected to be October 2017.  The Warrick Wellness Trail has exploded with more than $230 million in new announced investment. 


    Victoria Master Plan Development is requesting $2 million in Regional Cities funding to support infrastructure and amenities for a new planned community, which will consist of 550+ residences and repurposes former mine property.  This project will consist of a series of quaint neighborhoods based on new urban planning principals with verdant parks, amenities to encourage resident engagement and a hierarchal trail system.  Construction is expected to begin late 2016.

    By providing housing for the region’s future talent as well as aiding the medical district that Warrick County has created through the Warrick Wellness Trail, these projects will help to further strengthen the national brand of Indiana’s Great Southwest. 

  • Project Spotlight: University of Saint Francis

    by Lindsay Devlin | Sep 02, 2016

    As a part of the Road to One Million Plan, the University of Saint Francis has renovated two buildings as a part of its downtown campus project. The university has transformed the Scottish Rite Center into the USF Performing Arts Center and cut the ribbon on its Keith Busse School of Business, which is located in the old Chamber building. 



    Total Project Investment: $14.61 million
    State funding: $2.8 million 

    The campus features a state-of-the-art music technology program that was designed in coordination with a local business and employer, Sweetwater Sound. Enrollment rates for the school's music technology program has grown tremendously over the last five years. Additionally, the school is home to the region's only risk management and insurance degree. This program was introduced in the fall of 2015 at the request of the region's specialty insurance employers to meet the needs of the industry, which is also a unique business strength in Northeast Indiana. 

  • Project Spotlight: YMCA of DeKalb County

    by Lindsay Devlin | Aug 19, 2016

    The YMCA of DeKalb County will undergo a 38-acre expansion to increase youth and family programming, which will continue to advance quality of place in northeast Indiana by increasing community amenities, encouraging tourism and supporting healthy lifestyles in the region 

    Total Project Investment: $7.23 million 
    State funding: $947,000

    The expansion will establish the Northeast Youth Development Complex, which will include seven soccer fields, two football fields and a training area. Families from all over the area will benefit from the state-of-the-art field house, which will include a new indoor swimming pool, outdoor splash pad and playground. 

    "This youth development complex will not only be a regional draw for athletes from the tri-state area, but it will focus on developing character qualities in youth and building healthier, happier families, making Northeast Indiana an even better place to live," said Bob Krafft, chief executive officer of YMCA of DeKalb County. 

  • Northeast Indiana Project Spotlight: Trine University

    by Lindsay Devlin | Aug 10, 2016

    Trine University will construct a new ice arena (Thunder Ice Arena) and an athletic and events center (MTI Center) in Angola. In addition to hosting Trine’s hockey and basketball teams, the complex will enhance downtown Angola and serve the community, offering open skating, bowling, a fitness center and basketball courts, and youth programs and camps. 

    • Total Investment: $18.89 million
    • State Funding: $2.88 million 

    Trine Ice Arena

    Read more about Trine's quality of place projects here
  • Tropicana Evansville breaks ground on New Entertainment Complex

    by Lindsay Devlin | Jul 20, 2016

    Tropicana Evansville sought to bring down the house with its groundbreaking on a $50 million, 75,000-square-foot entertainment complex expansion located along the Ohio River in downtown Evansville.  With the recent Indiana legislation allowing riverboats to move on land, the company will be the first to do so, and expand the casino two city blocks. 

    The Tropicana Evansville expansion was noted in the Regional Cities plan for Indiana’s Great Southwest as a supportive project that helped provide the required matching investment.   Encompass Develop, Design and Construct based in La Grange, KY will be the project management team for the Tropicana Evansville project.  

    For further information please contact: Stacey McNeill, Tropicana Evansville. 812-433-4069

  • RCI Gaining International Intrigue

    by Lindsay Devlin | Jul 14, 2016

    IMG_2587 - Copy

    Just last month, Greg Wathen, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, John Sampson, president and chief executive officer of the Northeast Regional Partnership and Regina Emberton, president and chief executive officer of the Michiana Partnership, gave presentations on the Regional Cities Initiative and its impact on their communities to the Japanese Consul General of Chicago. Their presentations resulted in great discussion about regionalism and talent attraction that may lead to future partnerships. 

  • Study: Economic Development Should Focus on People

    by Lindsay Devlin | Jul 06, 2016

    A recent study released from the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University found that strategies of successful economic development efforts focus not just on attracting businesses to a region, but attracting people.

    This is the core concept of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative—to promote regionalism and quality of place projects in an effort attract and retain talent in our state.

    The study states, “In the modern economy, an area’s economic fortune is much more likely to hinge on the skills of its workers. That’s why economic development groups should shift their thinking toward efforts that will attract highly skilled workers to their communities.”

    Through this initiative, Regional development authorities all across the state have been working tirelessly to not only continue attracting businesses, but concentrating on projects that will attract people to their communities by revitalizing parks and downtowns, building and revamping trail systems and recreational amenities as well as investing in cultural enhancements. 

  • Regionalism in Michiana

    by Lindsay Devlin | Jun 30, 2016
    About three years ago, we chose to adopt regionalism as part of our economic development strategy. At that time, we were primarily focused on business recruitment efforts.

    The state of Indiana’s foresight in launching and funding the Regional Cities initiative has brought significant change to our region.  It has been the perfect catalyst by making us think more broadly, by encouraging our community leaders to come together in an unprecedented way and making us think about sustaining our initiatives through quality of life enhancements that will allow our region to both attract and retain talent. 
    In response to the Regional Cities Initiative, community leaders embraced the importance of quality of place and came together immediately to develop a Regional Strategy to achieve this. The Innovate Indiana plan is built on four key success factors we believe to be critical in creating competitive places and employment centers and they include: density, connectivity, amenities, and productivity.  
    To achieve our plan, the South Bend-Elkhart region is taking full advantage of what we have always had going for us: a tradition of innovation and excellence in workmanship and production; an unbeatable work ethic; a distinctive location with an edge in infrastructure from asphalt and rails to energy and fiber; and the resources of a world-class university that has accepted a leadership role in the life of our region. 

    Many thanks to the State of Indiana, we now have the energy, the enthusiasm and the commitment from every community in our region to move forward together.  Led by the presence of world renowned higher education institutions, our history of advanced manufacturing, our accessible location, and our growing excellence in information technology, our future is unlimited. We are pleased to be partnering with the State to make Regional Cities a watershed moment for the South Bend-Elkhart Region by building a leading example of a smart, connected, community.

    Regina Emberton
    President of Michiana Partnership

  • Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority Approves Regional Cities Campus Project

    by Lindsay Devlin | Jun 23, 2016
    The #INRegionalCities momentum continues! Just recently, the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority voted to move forward on a projects at regional college campuses.

    The projects at the University of  Saint Francis downtown Fort Wayne Campus include converting the former Chamber of Commerce offices into the new home of the Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and renovating four floors of the former Scottish Rite building. This renovation will create the main location of the School of Creative Arts Music Technology program. 

    Trine University in Angola will be bringing men's and women's hockey to the school and thus building the Thunder Ice Arena on campus. 
  • Northeast Indiana Residents: Weigh in on trail branding names!

    by Lindsay Devlin | Jun 15, 2016
    The Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council is asking local residents to take part in their survey to name and brand the Northeast Indiana Regional Trail System and the State Visionary Trail, which stretches from Ouabache State Park near Bluffton to Pokagon State Park near Angola. 

    Take a look at the initial design document here before you take the survey and once you have looked over the design and name options, weigh in here!