Regional Cities Proposals Are In

Posted: Updated:
Shields says at least one submission's scope exceeded $900 million. Shields says at least one submission's scope exceeded $900 million.
INDIANAPOLIS -

Seven proposals have been submitted to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. for a shot at tens of millions in potential matching funds through the Regional Cities Initiative. Two submissions from regional development authorities will be selected by the end of the year for the program that has been championed by Governor Mike Pence and funded with $84 million from a future tax amnesty program. IEDC Vice President of Policy and Strategic Initiatives Eric Shields says, at first glance, some of the projects have "blown him away" in detail and scope.

Shields says there are some common themes among the projects including connectivity, innovation, entrepreneurship, reuse of abandoned buildings and downtown revitalization. He says ultimately, the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative Strategic Review Committee will be charged with viewing the projects through a lens that includes increasing talent attraction, making Indiana a "net inbound state" and creating jobs. The committee will meet in the coming weeks to review the proposals and determine recommendations for the winning RDAs.

He says the program has stimulated a lot of buzz throughout the state's economic development community and has brought together many stakeholders with goals of creating regional brands that could lead to a population boost.

Shields says submissions came from the central, east central, northern, northeast, northwest, southwest and west central regions

A notable absence from the list supplied by Shields is Our Southern Indiana. The group faced numerous hurdles along the way, including gaining the minimum of two contiguous counties to join the RDA. During an interview in early August with Inside INdiana Business, One Southern Indiana Chief Executive Officer Wendy Dant Chesser said Our Southern Indiana's bid had to work to overcome what she described as "rampant" fears about the regional process. Harrison County and Scott County both expressed support, but other attempts in counties including Clark, Floyd and Washington never gained the necessary approvals.

The tax amnesty program will be in effect from September 15 through November 16, with the first $84 million earmarked for Regional Cities and the next $6 million to go toward funding the Hoosier State rail service between Indianapolis and Chicago.

IEDC Vice President of Policy and Strategic Initiatives Eric Shields tells Inside INdiana Business a lot of creativity went into the proposals.
  • Perspectives

    • Advisory Boards Offer Wisdom, Ideas

      I'm not given to bragging, but I think the facts say I'm a successful entrepreneur. I've started several companies that are thriving and growing, and even landed on the Inc. 5000 list. So what made me decide to create an advisory board?

    More
  • Most Popular Stories

    • Indianapolis Among Amazon 'HQ2' Finalists

      Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has named Indianapolis one of 20 finalists for the location of a second corporate headquarters. The company accepted bids late last year for what it expects to be a more than $5 billion investment that could bring up to 50,000 jobs with it. Chicago and Columbus, Ohio were the other two Midwest cities still in the running. Amazon says its "HQ2" will be "a full equal to our current campus in Seattle."

    • Anthem HQ Shifting to Different Downtown Location

      Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) says it is exiting from one of the city's most prominent office locations. Our partners at WIBC report the company is not renewing its lease at 120 Monument Circle, which has served as its primary corporate office since the early 1990s. The insurer's lease is set to run out at year's end and, without giving a timeline, a company spokesperson said...

    • Sony DADC to Lay Off Hundreds in Terre Haute

      Sony DADC has announced plans to lay off 375 workers at its Terre Haute facility. In a notice to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the company says the layoffs are due to its decision to outsource the music and video manufacturing operations at the facility. A spokeswoman for Sony DADC tells our partners at WTHI-TV the move will affect more than half the employees at the Vigo County location.

    • Hogsett: Amazon Announcement 'Speaks Volumes'

      Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) choosing the city as one of 20 finalists for its second corporate headquarters shows Indy is "punching above our weight" as an attractive tech hub. He says Indianapolis is one of the least-populated metropolitan areas on the list. The project, announced late last year, is expected to bring a more than $5 billion investment and ultimately up to 50,000 jobs. In an interview with...

    • Committee Ices Carryout Cold Beer Bill

      The Senate Committee on Public Policy has voted down a bill that would've allowed carryout cold beer to be sold in additional locations like convenience stores, grocery stores and drug stores. The commission voted against Senate Bill 26 by a tally of 9-1 after three hours of testimony that mostly involved business owners and industry group representatives. Senator Tim Lanane () was the only yes vote, arguing for passage so the full Senate could make amendments.