May 05, 2023

Indiana Leads Nation on Strategic Site Identification Spurring Economic Opportunity

SSI program along with sponsorship of LEAP Innovation and Research District addresses global demand for speed to market for future-focused and high-growth industries

Under the leadership of Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) reached a significant milestone in the Strategic Sites Inventory (SSI) program this spring, identifying over 300 new, nationally competitive greenfield site opportunities across more than half of Indiana’s 92 counties. 

Fueled by Secretary Chambers’ 5E strategic vision, the SSI program is accelerating economic development opportunity across the state by identifying and vetting the readiness of new development sites. An increase in competitive, ready-to-build sites positions Indiana for more opportunities to attract global innovators and corporations in high-tech, future-focused industries like electric vehicles, semiconductors, life sciences, energy production and storage, and industry 4.0.



“As we work to create an economy of the future in Indiana, having a robust database of nationally competitive, ready-to-build sites is crucial to competing for new investment and career opportunities for Hoosiers,” said Sec. Chambers. “Indiana is committed to winning in a competitive global economy, and we’re taking a strategic and proactive approach. We are focused on getting the economy that is good for Hoosiers. The SSI program is yet another tool that will quickly help us win new opportunities in key sectors, transforming our communities and creating job opportunities for generations to come.”



Since launching the program in 2017, the IEDC has partnered with local communities to vet new sites in 47 counties, achieving a faster volume of local site reviews faster than any other state participating in the SSI program. Through the program, the state initially identified 230,000 acres across 1,798 sites, including 69 potential tech megaparks, to review for potential economic development opportunities. So far, Indiana, in partnership with local communities, has strategically reviewed 938 sites, identifying 328 sites that would be top contenders for nationally competitive projects.

“Of all the states engaging in a formal site readiness initiative, Indiana is leading the nation in the volume of new greenfield site identification” said Victor Leotta, principal of Leotta Location and Design and the creator of the SSI program. “Leotta Location and Design has implemented the SSI program in 20 states across the U.S. since 2016. Indiana far and away has been the most aggressive in identifying every remaining acre of competitive land for good job-producing projects.”

These 328 greenfield sites were identified for a variety of economic development land uses, including heavy industrial, light industrial, agribusiness, distribution centers, business and tech/medical parks, and utility-scale solar. Ranging from approximately 30–3,000 acres each, the Indiana sites can quickly accommodate significant new investment and expansions and enable companies to move quickly as the sites have already been vetted for readiness by evaluating key criteria such as land use, zoning and utility access. Additionally, sites allow for industries to have easy access to Indiana’s growing workforce.

“As the global economy continues to evolve and transition, we’re seeing unprecedented demand for greenfield sites from leaders in advanced manufacturing and innovation and technology sectors,” said Ann Lathrop, chief strategy officer at the IEDC. “Indiana is successfully marketing itself to global leaders in these future-focused sectors, with recent wins in areas like electric vehicles and energy, semiconductors and advanced manufacturing. The SSI program ensures that we stay competitive nationally – even as more and more sites are taken off the market with new investments – and land the transformative projects we continue to attract.” 

Indiana will continue to work in partnership with the remaining 45 counties to vet additional greenfield sites, accelerating new economic development opportunities across the state.