Regional Cities Initiave to Advance More Quality of Place Projects in North Central Indiana


INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 21, 2016) – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has approved Regional Cities Initiative funding to support three additional quality of place projects in north central Indiana that will promote STEM programming, increase downtown housing options and support the revitalization of historic buildings in the South Bend-Elkhart region.

“Indiana is now ranked first in the Midwest and fifth in the nation for business, and the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative will play a key role in carrying this economic momentum forward,” said Governor Mike Pence. “We must create vibrant communities where top talent chooses to live, work and play. North central Indiana is investing in its residents and its future through quality of place projects that will enhance the lives of Hoosiers and support talent retention and attraction for generations to come.”


ETHOS Science Center offers a variety of hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programming for students and teachers. In order to accommodate its rapidly growing programs and activities, including the high-demand robotics program, ETHOS plans to move into a long vacant building at 1025 N. Michigan Ave. in Elkhart, which was donated by Bayer. This investment will be used to transform the building into a facility that will allow ETHOS to serve as a regional provider of STEM programming and specifically, its K-12 robotics programming.

  • Total Project Investment: $3.63 million
    State funding: $532,325

“Thanks to the IEDC’s approval of the Regional Cities Initiative funding, we will be able to move forward with the exciting renovation of the Bayer Corp. building,” said Patsy Boehler, executive director of the ETHOS Science Center. “These dollars plus a $250,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County and their $1 million challenge grant will be the stimulus needed as we launch our fundraising drive to obtain the remaining local dollars. The momentum the IEDC and RCI are bringing is fantastic. We are deeply appreciative!”


The Mill at Ironworks Plaza will add 233 market-rate luxury apartment units and 16,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space in the heart of downtown Mishawaka on 3.8 acres near the Beutter Park Riverfront. The new development is estimated to generate more than $500,000 in new real estate taxes to the community each year. The Mill at Ironworks Plaza sets a tone for downtown Mishawaka, creating density, serving as an amenity and increasing social connectivity by creating a centrally-located space for residents and visitors to live, shop, work and play in one of north central Indiana’s urban cores.

  • Total Project Investment: $41.8 million
    State funding: $5.26 million

“We’re thrilled to have partnership from the Indiana Economic Development Council on this transformative project,” said Brian Prince, the lead project developer with Flaherty & Collins Properties. “We believe The Mill at Ironworks Plaza will not only add quality housing, but will also create new tax revenues for the city, as well as roughly 375 jobs through construction, retail tenants and the property staff. The development creates a destination where people want to live, work and play, helping attract employers and retain employees in Mishawaka.”


This new construction project will add more than 200 residential units, a full-service grocery store and pharmacy in the East Bank Village of downtown South Bend. The mixed-use space will be located at 401 E. Colfax Ave. in South Bend, which is part of an 100-year-old building complex that formerly served as a power plant and currently houses several technology and medical companies. This quality of place project will enable residents and visitors to easily access services and interact with others, contributing to the region’s goal of creating high-performing communities.

  • Total Project Investment: $49.33 million
    State funding: $4.9 million

“We love South Bend, Indiana; this is our home, and we are grateful for the partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation,” said David Matthews, developer with Matthews LLC. “Thanks to their support, this project will bring South Bend’s thriving downtown neighborhood a much desired full-service grocery store and pharmacy years ahead of schedule. This accelerated project is in the heart of South Bend, adjacent to a white water rapids course, fantastic parks, lively theaters and the largest concentrated work force in our region. It will help the region grow, attract more development and lead to a larger tax base.”

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 Smart Connected Communities 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.

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.

Media Contacts:

Patsy Boehler (ETHOS) – 574.266.7149 or
Brian Moore (Ironworks) – 317.816.9300 or
David Matthews (Commerce Center) – 574.607.4271 or
Regina Emberton (North Central RDA) – 574.400.5432 or
Abby Gras (IEDC) – 317.232.8845 or