Vision For $300M Elkhart River District Coming Together

Posted: Updated:
(Rendering provided by the River District Implementation Team.) (Rendering provided by the River District Implementation Team.)

Plans that could involve $300 million in development to transform a portion of downtown Elkhart into a more walkable and livable community are underway and leaders behind The River District say it will play a vital role in workforce attraction and retention. Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick was on-location for a special edition of the show in Elkhart County and River District Implementation Team Chair Dave Weaver said the project will be a "generational transformation" for the city. The group says Elkhart currently has more open jobs than citizens to fill them and the 105-acre development, which includes projects already underway like a $65 million aquatics center, will boost the quality of life in the manufacturing-intensive city.

Bob Deputy, a philanthropist and former manufacturing executive, was featured on the show and is also part of the River District Implementation Team. He says the district will be an "aspirational place" that will draw people to live, work and play. "The property has been acquired, so it will go out for bid for people who want to come in and build housing, residential, commercial, even office facilities," Deputy said, "and they've set standards so this will be a walkable, classy place."

Estimates show nearly 30,000 workers from outside of Elkhart County commute there for work each day and the county's 2.7 percent unemployment rate is tied for the lowest in the state, prompting the city and community leaders to look for a big play. "Elkhart's a place that's known for its entrepreneurial spirit, its spirit of getting things done, and luckily the stars aligned where a group was able to get together, the city was in a place where it was financially strong enough to invest $30 million in public infrastructure just in the River District," Weaver said. "The city's in for a lot of money, private investment is in for a lot. We're here to do something transformational."

In addition to the housing and commerce possibilities, plans for the district also call for trail systems that will help create better connections throughout the city and as Weaver added, "will actually activate" the riverfront with recreational access to the St. Joseph River and Elkhart River.

  • Perspectives

    • #MeToo, Bullying And What We All Can Do Now

      Indeed, it is an interesting time with so much continuing to come out in Hollywood, the media, other industries, and even our state government related to the sexual harassment of women - women who have remained silent for years. Like those women, I too have been harassed in various ways over the course of my career, even in recent years - and yes, even in top leadership roles. The headline about my departure or the email citing that I was moving on never fully told the real story.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • U.S. Steel 'Renaissance' Spurs $750M Gary Works Investment

      Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) has announced a $750 million investment in its Gary Works operations. The company says the funds are part of a $2 billion asset revitalization effort that will take place over the next five years. Last year, U.S. Steel detailed plans that involved pumping $35 million into Gary Works, which followed the $23 million first phase of its Hot Strip Mill Restoration Plan. The latest investment, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says...

    • Salesforce Begins Pathfinder, Reorganization Efforts Inc. (NYSE: CRM) is underway with the first cohort of its Pathfinder Training Program that is part of the tech giant's ongoing Indianapolis growth. The company is partnering with Deloitte to provide business and technical training to Ivy Tech Community College students and Hoosier veterans looking to become Salesforce administrators and developers. The program comes as the company realigns its Marketing Cloud organization. In a statement, Salesforce says it...

    • Hoosier Schools Among 'Best Colleges in America'

      Nearly two dozen Hoosier institutions are included in MONEY magazine's rankings of the Best Colleges in America. More than 700 schools are on the list, which was determined by a number of factors in three categories, including quality of education, affordability, and outcomes.

    • Geovani Bonilla

      IU Health Plans Names VP

      Geovani Bonilla has joined Indiana University Health Plans as vice president of medical operations. He previously served as director of utilization management for Johns Hopkins Healthcare.

    • Fort Wayne Radio Icon Butcher Passes Away

      A fixture in the Fort Wayne radio scene has passed away. Charly Butcher spent more than 30 years in Fort Wayne radio with a successful morning show on WMEE-FM and, most recently, as host of "Fort Wayne's Morning News" on WOWO radio. Butcher was 61. Butcher was part of WMEE's popular "Those Two Guys In The Morning" show with Tony Richards in the 1980s. He joined WOWO in the mid-2000s as host of "Fort Wayne's Morning News With Charly Butcher."