FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside Indiana Business): The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority this week announced $15 million in Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grants for five projects. The funding will support efforts such as an arts campus in downtown Fort Wayne, housing projects in Allen and DeKalb counties, and an education and innovation center in Steuben County.
Northeast Indiana was one of five regions to receive the full $50 million allocation from the $500 million initiative last December.
Vincent Ash, vice president of development for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the funding will help the region attract and retain more people.
“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,” Ash said in written remarks. “Investments into these quality-of-life and quality-of-opportunity projects is the true essence of what the READI program was intended for.”
Ryan Twiss, executive director of the Northeast Indiana RDA, says the five projects that received READI funding have a total estimated value of more than $215 million.
The grant recipients include:
- $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.
The grant awards were announced just over three months after $18 million in READI funding was approved for six other northeast Indiana projects.
Seventeen regions representing all 92 Indiana counties received a portion of the $500 million dedicated to the READI project.