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Possibilities for Indiana READI grants starting to come to focus

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 7:30 PM EDT
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(WNDU) - Local leaders have been asked to dream, and they have responded with a wish list of 75 separate brick and mortar projects designed to transform the northcentral Indiana region.

The State of Indiana is offering up to $50 million in (READI) grants to projects that will attract and retain workers and increase population.

Today, 16 News Now got a peek at the possibilities, although they are in rough draft form.

A similar grant program (Regional Cities) helped fund phase one of the Mishawaka apartment development known as the Mill at Ironworks.

Now, the developer has expressed an interest in a $3 million grant to move to phase two which includes 215-additional apartments and a 350-space parking garage at a total cost of $47.6 million.

“Our housing stock in some of our communities is older and it’s part of the talent retention and attraction, you’ve got to have good housing for people to move into,” said President John DeSalle of the Regional Development Authority.

DeSalle wasn’t surprised to see a dozen or so housing proposals in the early mix. The Regional Development Authority met this morning but did not publicly endorse or publicly discuss any of the possible projects.

Nonetheless the City of Mishawaka expressed an interest in returning the 100 Center to its former glory. The city proposed a $7.85 million rehabilitation that would better connect the property with the city’s Riverwalk.

Another possible project calls for a $1.4 million makeover of the Studebaker mansion to add an event center and a Studebaker art and artifact gallery.

The City of Plymouth seeks a $1 million grant to fund a $5 million public pool project.

The City of Goshen seeks a $1.5 million grant as part of a $7.9 million open air ice rink and public pavilion.

South Bend’s Potawatomi Zoo seeks a $2.5 million grant to build a dining area that would look directly into the bear exhibit.

“The people are excited about it. They’re passionate about it. They’re proposing really good projects. I think they’re aligned with the goals of IEDC. They’re aligned with the goals of our region, you know, making this a better place to live and work and play,” DeSalle stated.

The Regional Development Authority Board of Directors has until the end of September to sift through the possible projects and make funding recommendations to the state.

The north central region is made up of St. Joseph, Elkhart, and Marshall Counties.

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