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Regional Cities in Review

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative (RCI) is helping communities across Indiana transform their regions into nationally recognized destinations to live, work and play.

The Regional Cities Initiative, begun in 2015, has in just six months since the beginning of actual implementation approved funding for 18 quality-of-place projects in three regions (North Central, Northeast and Southwest) totaling almost $610 million in total investment. Of that amount:

  • RCI state funding: $42.5 million
  • Private funding: $493.7 million (that’s 80.9 percent of the total)
  • Local/other funding: $73.7 million (greater than the minimum match required by the program)

With all that local and private funding support—more than was even originally expected—that means that for each single state dollar awarded, $14 is being invested in Indiana regional projects.

Even though only three regions won the first phase of funding, the other four regions of the state continue to work with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) to pursue their own proposals.

Already there are nine more projects under review and the IEDC says it is on track to disburse half of the state’s total matching funds in the next few months.

According to Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger in an interview with Inside INdiana Business, the Regional Cities Initiative is creating “unparalleled” business buzz. “For the entire phase one,” Schellinger said, “there will be $2.1 billion of private sector money.”

2016 Regional Highlights:

North Central Indiana – South Bend is transforming the city’s southern skyline with the revitalization of the Studebaker factory, eliminating blight and creating private investment opportunities. A developer currently plans to construct 124 apartment units and 14,000 sq. ft. of retail space adjacent to the Studebaker building, an $18.2 million investment.

Northeast Indiana – Intra-regional collaboration is leading to connecting trail networks. The Little River Trail will connect an additional five to six miles of trails in Huntington, allowing access to more of northeast Indiana’s existing trails. The Northeast Indiana RDA has approved projects totaling $120.8 million in combined public and private funding to the IEDC, including $71.2 million in private investment.

Beyond these projects, the IEDC and the other regions are planning for phase II of the initiative. The IEDC has already awarded $150,000 to the Central, East Central, Northwest and West Central regions in the form of planning grants to support and encourage collaboration and long-term quality of place planning.

Indiana Regional Cities Initiative