IN Brief

$500 million Indiana READI grants to be designated by end of year

By: - July 1, 2022 7:00 am

Gov. Eric Holcomb talks about the next step in the READI grant process. (Casey Smith/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

A wave of projects and programs across Indiana are set receive new economic development grants meant to help expedite project completion timelines now that necessary agreements have been finalized, Indiana officials announced Thursday.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) is on track to designate 40% — about $200 million — of available grant funds to projects in 10 regions of the state by the end of July, the state’s Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers said. The remaining $300 million in available grants are expected to be designated by the end of the year.

The state approved $500 million in Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grants in December to 17 regions across the state  — encompassing all 92 Indiana counties. The competitive grant program is designed to enable Indiana communities to partner on proposals for future growth and improvement within their region, especially in regards to talent attraction and retention.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb joined Chambers at the Nexus Park project site in Columbus Thursday to give a progress update on READI grant dispersion. State officials said 12 of the 17 regions in Indiana have so far finalized grant agreements with the IEDC, meaning 53 projects and programs can begin moving forward. That includes efforts to increase housing, trails, community amenities, childcare, health and wellness, tourism and workforce development.

“Where we stand has been a long time in the marking, and there have been twists and turns along the way,” Holcomb said during a news conference. “I think we’re landing in a transformational spot.”

The Nexus Park project — which received a $6 million grant — will see the redevelopment of the mostly-vacant, 400,000-square-foot FairOaks Mall into a health, wellness, sports and fitness facility.

The project was included in the proposal from the South Central Indiana Talent Region, which includes Bartholomew, Jackson and Jennings counties, as well as the City of Edinburgh. The region received $30 million in READI funding, overall.

Holcomb and other state officials boasted that READI is expected to attract at least $2 billion of local public, private and philanthropic match funding to Indiana.

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Casey Smith
Casey Smith

A lifelong Hoosier, Casey Smith previously reported on the Indiana Legislature for The Associated Press. Smith has had internships and fellowships at the Investigative Program in Berkeley, California, The Indianapolis Star, the Investigative Reporting Workshop in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post, National Geographic, USA Today and other publications. Internationally, she has reported on water quality across South America. She holds a master’s degree in investigative reporting and narrative science writing from the University of California/Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She previously earned degrees in journalism, anthropology and Spanish from Ball State University, where she now serves as an instructor of journalism.

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