Road to One Million

In Northeast Indiana, “good” is not good enough. We share a vision of bucking Midwest trends and breaking new ground. We forge new opportunities to create meaningful change for our residents, and your business. 

We have a vision of becoming a region of 1 million people by developing the quality of life needed to attract top talent and expand our business landscape.

We call this vision The Road to One Million.

The Road to One Million was formed to apply for the state’s Regional Cities Initiative grant, which seeks to make Indiana a magnet for talent attraction by funding transformative quality of place projects. Northeast Indiana won $42 million through this state initiative, and is supported by the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA), charged with implementing those funds to best reach the goals of increasing economic growth, increasing population growth, and enhancing the region’s national brand identity.

For years, leaders have been working hard to revitalize the historic downtowns of Angola, Decatur, Bluffton, Shipshewana, Auburn, Columbia CityWabashWarsaw, Huntington, Kendallville, New Haven, and other unique communities that offer diverse quality of life options from lakeside living to rural charm.

Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana are led by ambitious people marked by ingenuity and positivity—now that’s a community worth investing in. Join us as we transform potential into progress on the Road to One Million.

Turning Our Vision into Reality

The Road to One Million plan draws from hundreds of existing community plans, focus groups in each county, interviews with stakeholders, walking tours and planned private sector investments. The Road to One Million Plan outlines a short-term goal of 38 regional development projects in 11 counties totaling $400 million in quality of place investments, and more than 70 projects and $1.5 billion in public and private investment over the next 10 years.

We know that a bustling, vibrant urban core is a key component to building a strong and economically viable region. It makes a positive impact on your business, too, because investments in quality of life are key for business and talent attraction.

Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana’s regional development plan is focused on four critical thematic areas that support a world-class quality of place:

  • arts and cultural assets;
  • greenways and blueways;
  • downtowns and community development; and
  • education and industry.

We are advancing a portfolio of projects that will transform and define our community over the next few years and for decades thereafter.  

Want updates on the recent work of the Northeast Indiana RDA? Visit the RDA page for meeting agendas, minutes, and additional information. 

Want to See our Progress So Far?

  1. RDA Funding Summary

    November 15, 2016

    As of November 15, the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) Board has recommended eight projects with four projects currently under review by the RDA Board. The 12 approved and pending projects are in the following Northeast Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, Steuben and Wabash. The RDA has allocated more than $13.6 million dollars and leveraged more than $108 million in project investments. 

  2. RDA Funding Summary

    October 3, 2016

    As of October 3, the Regional Development (RDA) Board has recommended seven projects and has one project pending review by the Board. The eight approved and pending projects are in six different Northeast Indiana counties including: Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, Steuben and Wabash. The RDA has allocated almost $12 million dollars and leveraged just shy of $100 million in other investments.

  3. RDA Recommended Funding for Manchester Early Learning Center

    September 20, 2016

    The Board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) voted to support the Manchester Early Learning Center with a grant of $520,000, which represents 20 percent of the $2.6 million of the project’s total cost. 

  4. RDA Recommended Funding for Little River Trail project in Huntington

    August 16, 2016

    The Board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) voted to support the Little River Trail project with a grant of $255,748, which represents 20 percent of the $1.053 million of the project’s total cost. 

  5. RDA Recommended Funding for Embassy Theatre and YMCA of DeKalb County

    July 19, 2016

    The Board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority voted to support both projects and approved the following funding requests:

    • the Embassy Theatre’s request of $1.7 million to fund the Vision for the Embassy project, which is 17.5 percent of the project’s total cost of $10 million; and
    • the YMCA of DeKalb County’s request for $947,000 for the Northeast Indiana Youth Development Complex, which is 13 percent of the project’s total cost of $7.2 million. 

  6. RDA Recommended Funding for University of Saint Francis and Trine University

    June 21, 2016

    The Board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority voted to support USF’s funding request of $2.8 million, 20 percent of the project’s cost, and Trine’s request of 2.8 million, 15 percent of the project’s cost. 

  7. RDA Approved Funding for Skyline Tower

    May 17, 2016

    The Regional Partnership hosted a news conference to announce Regional Cities Initiative funding for the Skyline Tower project, a $44 million public-private-partnership between Great Lakes Capital and the City of Fort Wayne supported by $2.8 million in Regional Cities Initiative funding. During the regular monthly meeting, the RDA board heard presentations from leaders at the University of Saint Francis and Trine University about projects that involve $33.5 million in investments in qualify of place projects. 

  8. Project Owner Information Sessions

    April 20, 2016

    The Regional Partnership gathered Road to One Million project leaders to share updates from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Regional Development Authority (RDA). 

  9. Road to One Million Kick-Off Celebration

    January 26, 2016

    The Regional Partnership and Greater Fort Wayne Inc. hosted the Road to One Million Kick-Off Celebration event to celebrating winning $42 million in Regional Cities funding.

  10. Northeast Indiana Awarded $42 Million

    December 17, 2015

    The Road to One Million economic development plan was selected as a regional winner of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s (IEDC) Regional Cities funding. Northeast Indiana’s winning Road to One Million plan, spearheaded by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Greater Fort Wayne Inc. The ROC also voted to add the Road to One Million plan to the list of Vision 2020 initiatives priorities under the Quality of Life pillar.