Oct 19, 2022

READI Sparks Quality of Place Investments in Southwest Indiana

Governor Eric J. Holcomb joined local officials and regional leaders today as the Evansville Region broke ground on two significant quality of place investments that will support current and future residents by adding housing, wellness resources and community amenities in Princeton. Fueled by the transformational Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), the region is investing $21 million to develop the Toyota Indiana YMCA and $21 million to construct The District, a new apartment complex geared toward housing the area’s skilled workforce. 



“Indiana is inhabited by leaders who continue to think outside of the box and collaborate to create a better future for Hoosiers,” said Gov. Holcomb. “It is a great day for Princeton and the greater Evansville Region as we celebrate two important projects that will foster a growing, vibrant community and increase the region’s ability to retain, attract and support top talent.”  



The nationally recognized READI program is allocating $500 million to 17 regions across the state to accelerate shovel-ready projects and programs that are expected to transform Indiana communities, attract talent and improve the quality of life for Hoosiers in the short and long term. In Southwest Indiana, the Evansville Region was awarded $50 million in READI matching funds to advance its strategic plan known as ‘TalentEVV’ to become the talent and economic region of choice in the Midwest through focused improvements in talent attraction, growth opportunities, quality of place amenities and necessary infrastructure.

“Indiana’s unprecedented READI initiative is setting the national standard for grassroots regional collaboration and development,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “These investments – Toyota Indiana YMCA and The District – are perfect examples of how government, communities and industry can work together to create vibrant destinations, continue to grow population, and build a workforce to power the economy of the future.”

Toyota Indiana YMCA and The District are both important projects within the Evansville Region’s plan and vision for its future, increasing community amenities and addressing the abundant need for additional housing to support Hoosiers and their families, enable workforce attraction and population growth, and help major employers in the area retain and compete for top talent. These investments have already sparked additional private investments nearby as workforce housing and entrepreneurial opportunities have been announced in the surrounding blocks.

“These projects will be critical transformations for Princeton and the greater Gibson County area,” said Leah Curry, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana. “The new Toyota Indiana YMCA will provide access to all, helping Gibson County residents with the resources they need to live better lives, while The District will serve the needs of talent and help employers like Toyota and our many suppliers attract even more skilled individuals to the region.”

  • Toyota Indiana YMCA
    ($21M total project investment; $5M READI allocation)

    In Princeton, Gov. Holcomb, Princeton Mayor Greg Wright and Tara Barney, CEO of the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana President and CEO Leah Curry and YMCA of Southwestern Indiana CEO Johnathan Pope to break ground on the new Toyota Indiana YMCA. This $15 million investment will create a 56,000-square-foot health, fitness and wellness facility in the heart of downtown Princeton, offering first-class amenities to residents and prospective talent interested in working for Toyota or its many suppliers in the region.

    The new facility will be located at 215 West Water St., revitalizing the former Lowell South property, and is expected to be open to the public in the summer of 2024. Equipped with a gymnasium, a competition pool, a teaching kitchen for nutrition education, a STEM lab, youth recreation areas, and more, the Toyota Indiana YMCA will provide access to all through financial, physical and cultural accessibility.

    “The Toyota Indiana YMCA in Gibson County will be more than an exercise facility,” said Johnathan Pope, president and CEO of the YMCA of Southwestern Indiana. “YMCAs often become community centers that connect people from all walks of life, and this community will benefit greatly from their new gathering space.”

  • The District Housing Complex
    ($21M total project investment; $2.5M READI allocation)

    Just a little over one mile from the future Toyota Indiana YMCA, Gov. Holcomb, local and regional leaders celebrated the groundbreaking of The District, a 144-unit apartment complex at 2024 S. Second Avenue in Princeton. This $21 million workforce apartment complex is scheduled to open in June 2024, providing affordable new housing in an area that will support employee preferences, employer needs and overall talent retention and attraction efforts.

    The District will be the first multi-family housing development in Princeton in nearly 10 years, filling a workforce housing need for nearby major employers like Toyota Indiana. Once complete, the complex will offer a variety of units, several in-unit covered balconies, a club house featuring an exercise room, private mail delivery room, a pool, walking paths, parking garage rental space and storage rental space.

    “The District will provide a first of its kind development in Princeton,” said Wayne Kinney, developer of The District. “The plan is to transform 2nd Avenue into a destination for those wanting an up-and-coming environment to live and raise a family.”

Through READI, 17 regions across the state that represent all 92 counties are moving forward with projects and programs designed to enhance Indiana’s regions for current and future generations of Hoosiers. Collectively, the state’s $500 million investment is expected to yield an additional $9.86 billion public, private and nonprofit dollars invested (19.72:1 investment leverage ratio) in enhancing Indiana’s quality of life, quality of place and quality of opportunity.