Bloomington has been awarded a $3.5 million CARES Act grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to help with the development of a new Trades District Technology Center. The city says the downtown district would offer services and space for both growing and mature tech firms.
Administered through the department’s Economic Development Administration, the federal grant is to be matched by $1.6 million in local funds.
“As Bloomington’s economy has evolved toward the tech sector, the city has made strategic investments such as the redevelopment of the Trades District to ensure that our entrepreneurial ecosystem scales up to attract employers and grow jobs for all, across many sectors,” said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
The city applied for the grant last fall in partnership with the Bloomington Economic Development Corp. The EDA estimates that the grant will create 530 jobs and generate $51 million in private investment in the region.
“The Trades District Technology Center will connect local tech companies to regional, national, and international partners and resources,” said Jennifer Pearl, president of the BEDC. “By helping post-startup tech firms grow, this project will also help advance our region.”
The city says in addition to a mix of small- to medium-sized tenant office spaces, the proposed three-story, nearly 30,000-square-foot building could include shared amenities and convening spaces for tenants, local tech companies, and industry-related partners.