The South Bend–Elkhart Regional Development Authority is gearing up to begin work on several projects that aim to spur economic activity. Last month, the region awarded $40 million in Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative funds to support a total of 19 quality of place projects.
The RDA says five of the projects, totaling more than $6.2 million in READI allocated funds, will specifically focus on regional economic development. The projects include the Marshall County Career Innovation Center, Momentum SBE Entrepreneurship Hub, Portage Place Business, Culture and Arts Accelerator and Incubator, South Bend International Airport Air Cargo and Logistics Center, and Tolson Center for Community Excellence.
“The South Bend – Elkhart region is a destination for business, and because of READI, we remain committed to building on this reputation by helping transform our communities into vibrant destinations to live, work, play and stay,” said Tim Sexton, RDA board member and associate vice president for public affairs at the University of Notre Dame. “These projects are investing in the region’s workforce, entrepreneurial ecosystem, and revitalization, spurring economic growth and development across the region and beyond.”
Additional details on each of the five economic development projects are included below:
Marshall County Career Innovation Center – The $9 million project will feature the adaptive re-use of nearly 25,000 square feet of existing building space on the Plymouth High School campus and the construction of a new greenhouse. The new center will offer expanded programing for high school students, including digital manufacturing, culinary arts, and ag-power, as well as training programs to upskill adult workers.
Momentum SBE Entrepreneurship Hub – The $12.1 million project will repurpose more than 60,000 square feet in two blighted buildings into a regional hub for entrepreneurs, investors, and startups. The space will feature dedicated workspaces, programming areas, and private offices. The housing component of the campus will include 12 loft apartments, including some affordable units targeted toward entrepreneurs.
Portage Place Business, Culture and Arts Accelerator and Incubator – The $4.5 million project will feature an adaptive reuse project of the vacant Ward Bakery building into a community business, culture and arts center, and regional destination. It will also serve as a “collaborative village” and incubator space for business, retail, professional services, artists, maker space, health and wellness, and food service.
South Bend International Airport Air Cargo and Logistics Center – The $4 million project will ultimately develop an air, land, and rail cargo logistics center at the confluence of the South Bend International Airport, U.S. 31 and I-80/I-90 and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District South Shore rail line.
Tolson Center for Community Excellence – The $16 million project will include the construction of a new building that will double the square footage of the space to almost 30,000 square feet, featuring two gyms and providing an inclusive space for learning and recreation.