The South Bend – Elkhart Regional Development Authority (RDA) awarded $40 million in Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant funds to 19 Quality of Place projects and set aside $7 million for programmatic funding during its meeting Monday afternoon. The $40 million in grant funding will be leveraged to infuse $465 million of total regional investments across the Quality of Place projects.

“We received an impressive array of applications for well-thought and creative projects,” said John DeSalle, RDA Chair and Marshall County representative to the board. “These projects will impact arts and culture, economic development, housing, and recreation and wellness in Elkhart, Marshall, and St. Joseph counties in a transformative way.” 

Marshall County projects receiving READI funding are:

 Bremen Sunnyside Park Improvements, Marshall County, $82,965
 Culver South Main Housing Project, Marshall County, $1,300,000
 The Harrison Street Trail from Packard Woods to the Conservation Club House in Plymouth, Marshall County $144,000
Water Street Townhomes in Plymouth, Marshall County,
$520,000 & Marshall County Career Innovation Center, Marshall County $1,750,000.  

Other projects funded by the READI Grant include:
 Ariel Cycleworks, Elkhart County, $4,200,0000
 Beacon Integrated Health and Lifestyle District, St. Joseph County, $11,780,000
 Corson Riverwoods County Park, Elkhart County, $153,035
 Downtown Elkhart River District, Elkhart County, $6,500,000
 George Wilson Park, St. Joseph County, $200,000
 Mishawaka Fieldhouse, St. Joseph County, $5,000,000
 Momentum SBE Entrepreneurship Hub, St. Joseph County, $550,000
 Morris Performing Arts Center “Morris 100 Project”, St. Joseph County, $1,500,000
 Portage Place Business, Culture and Arts Accelerator/Incubator, St. Joseph County, $550,000
 Potawatomi Zoo Concession Lodge and Black Bear Habitat, St. Joseph County, $1,070,000
 Pumpkinvine Nature Trail Completion, Elkhart County, $100,000
 South Bend International (SBN) Air Cargo and Logistics Center Site Acquisition, Regional, $800,000
 Tolson Center for Community Excellence, Elkhart County, $2,600,000
 Wellfield Visitor Center, Elkhart County, $1,200,000

The RDA worked with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership (Regional Partnership) on the project submission and award process. With Quality of Place Capital Projects categorized as brick and mortar, additional READI funds will be awarded to Smart Connected Communities 2030 Strategic programming. For the program award process, the Regional Partnership – working through its established committee structure – is using a letter of inquiry process and collaborative meetings to support development of proposals by organizations. 

Launched by Gov. Holcomb and led by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), READI encourages regional collaboration and data-driven, long-term planning that will attract and retain talent in Indiana. The $500 million READI fund was passed by legislation during the 2021 session and was divided among 17 regions. The IEDC awarded the maximum grant amount of $50 million each to five of the regions, including the South Bend – Elkhart region. Awards for the other regions ranged from $5 to 30 million.

“As the regional convening organization, the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership is delighted to see economic development thriving, and in great demand for the South Bend – Elkhart region,” said Bethany Hartley, President and CEO of the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership. “We received more than 50 applications for Quality of Place projects, and despite our region winning the maximum grant amount, the total request was over three times the amount of funds available to allocate. This is a tribute to the innovative growth mindset of our region.”

For more information about the South Bend – Elkhart region’s READI grant, click here.

To learn more about the READI grant program, click here.