Over $15 million in READI funds approved for Northeast Indiana

The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) has approved over $15 million in new Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grants for five new projects.

The approved projects include housing and an arts campus in downtown Fort Wayne, a healthcare education center in Allen County, housing in DeKalb County, and an education and innovation center in Steuben County.

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.

At the end of 2021, The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) granted the RDA $50 million to invest in projects through Indiana’s READI program. This new batch of funding comes just three months after the RDA approved $18 million for six projects in Northeast Indiana.

“These investments in Northeast Indiana will attract and retain more people to a growing area of the state,” said Vincent Ash, vice president of development at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Investments in the areas of housing, education and the arts, as reflected in these projects, will ensure Indiana remains an attractive location to live and work and help boost prosperity across the region. Investments into these quality-of-life and quality-of-opportunity projects is the true essence of what the READI program was intended for.”

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership (NEI), a leading regional economic development organization in Indiana, provides executive leadership for the RDA. NEI will continue to partner with the RDA on the newly announced initiatives.

The five projects, approved in Allen, DeKalb, and Steuben counties, are:

  • $5 million for Lofts at Headwaters, a housing project in downtown Fort Wayne that will create 217 apartments, 15 townhomes, 12,000 square feet of retail, and a 651-space parking garage.
  • $6 million for Arts Campus in downtown Fort Wayne, a renovation project that will save the historic theater and address issues, such as electric systems and lighting, modern stage technology, and safety for employees and volunteers. The city and Allen County are matching funds and prioritizing operating funds in their budgets to keep the building functioning.
  • $1,500,000 for a housing project in DeKalb County, which encompasses two projects. The first, Fortify Home LLC, will renovate a motel and create 28 units of emergency housing. The second, Seven 15 Properties LLC, will create 100 housing units, 50 micro commercial suites, and establish a live-work concept.
  • $1,500,000 for the Cameron Education and Innovation Center, a development project in Steuben County that will build a center for health science programming in partnership with Trine University.
  • $4 million for the construction of a healthcare education center at Trine University in Allen County, which will include a simulated patient care center and provide numerous degree programs.

“These funds will lead to both the restoration and renovation of significant landmarks in northeast Indiana. From the new Lofts at Headwaters housing project to the revival of the Arts Campus, the new READI grants are part of our long-term goal to ensure economic prosperity for Hoosiers in the region,” said Jeff Turner, board president of the RDA.

This new funding will support important projects that are part of a bigger goal for Indiana: accessible housing, talent acquisition and retention, and regional prosperity. The housing projects will help combat homelessness, the educational centers will create new jobs, and the renovation project will restore a historic building focusing on the arts.

Get the latest updates on Northeast Indiana's READI process.

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