Regional Cities Funds to Boost Quality of Place Initiatives in North Central Indiana


INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 5, 2016) – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has approved Regional Cities Initiative funding to support three quality of place projects in north central Indiana that will increase health and wellness opportunities in Plymouth, enhance connectivity between South Bend and Chicago through improvements to the South Shore Line, and advance the revitalization of the former Studebaker facilities in South Bend.

“Indiana businesses have created more than 156,800 new jobs since 2013, furthering the need to retain and attract top talent to fill Hoosier jobs,” said Governor Mike Pence. “The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative gives communities the tools to work together and invest in quality of place projects. The Marshall County Wellness and Life Enrichment Center, South Shore Line improvements and the redevelopment of the Studebaker campus will have a dramatic and longstanding impact on north central Indiana’s growing economy.”


This project includes the construction of two facilities – an aquatic center and an indoor/outdoor soccer complex – in Plymouth that will enhance community amenities, create youth programming, and increase health and fitness opportunities for residents across the South Bend-Elkhart region. The Marshall County Wellness and Life Enrichment Center will house a ten-lane competition swimming pool, two indoor turf arenas and two outdoor soccer fields, an indoor turf practice field, daycare facilities, educational classrooms and concessions.

  • Total Project Investment: $13 million
    State funding: $2 million

“One of Marshall County’s greatest assets has always been the pedestal on which we place our young people,” said Chad Barden, founder of Marshall County Wellness and Life Enrichment, Inc. “These two facilities will showcase this key, quality of life asset while serving to enhance our community’s position as a destination spot for families around the region.”


One of the region’s marquee projects is to enhance the South Shore Line between South Bend and Chicago, making the system more efficient and reducing travel time to Chicago to 90 minutes. Increased connectivity will make the region more attractive to new businesses and a talented workforce. Phase one of the four-phase project is to complete the environmental and preliminary engineering work necessary to qualify for federal funding to double track the railroad from Gary to Michigan City. Later phases include final engineering and construction and the eventual rerouting of the South Shore to the west side of the South Bend International Airport.

  • Total Project Investment (Phase I): $4 million
    State funding: $800,000

“This project has the potential of unlocking regional assets, improving the quality of life and making Indiana a true gateway to Chicago,” said Mike Noland, president of the South Shore Line.


The multi-phase, $165.7 million project will anchor the establishment of South Bend’s Renaissance District and, once complete, is set to be the largest mixed-used technology campus in the Midwest. The adaptive reuse of the former Studebaker campus, which totals 1.1 million square feet of real estate on 30 acres, will create a concentrated hub for education and innovation. This phase will include nearly $11 million of improvements, including the rehabilitation of the exterior of the largest building of the complex, Building 84. This work will catalyze further development in the Renaissance District as well as additional housing and development in downtown South Bend.

Renovations to Building 112 and Building 113 began in May and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2017.

  • Total Project Investment (Building 84): $10.86 million
    State funding: $3.5 million

“For over 50 years, the 6-story facade of Building 84 has overshadowed South Bend’s downtown and symbolized the negative impacts of Studebaker’s demise,” said Kevin M. Smith, founding partner of the Studebaker factory redevelopment project. “Fittingly, the improvements catalyzed by the Governor’s Regional Cities Initiative will allow our community to ‘turn the page’ and serve as a continual reminder that we can rebuild our region and advance our economy if we continue to work together.”

Regional Cities Initiative in North Central Indiana:

These project were recommended for funding by the North Central Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) and are part of the region’s Innovate Indiana plan, which outlines 39 regional development projects in three counties totaling $703 million in quality of place investments.

North central Indiana was one of three Indiana regions selected to receive state funding through the Regional Cities Initiative, which will allocate a total of $126 million toward 100 quality of place projects totaling more than $2 billion in combined state, local and private investment in order to retain and attract top talent to the Hoosier state.

Media Contacts:

Chad Barden (Marshall County Wellness) – 574.933.3479 or
John Parsons (South Shore Line) – 219.926.5744 x 344 or
Shawn Peterson (Renaissance District) – 574.993.8540 or
Regina Emberton (North Central RDA) – 574.400.5432 or
Abby Gras (IEDC) – 317.232.8845 or

About Indiana Regional Cities Initiative

Spearheaded by Governor Mike Pence, the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative sets a framework for neighboring communities across the state to work together to develop regional visions that are supported by compelling strategic plans focused on quality of place. The initiative will help each region develop a positive and unique national brand to advance the goal of becoming a destination for talent. Passed in 2015 with bipartisan support by the Indiana General Assembly, the initiative is overseen by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. To learn more visit or follow on Twitter at @Indiana_EDC, #INRegionalCities.