2013 Year in Review for the RDA

An article written by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority last updated on January 3, 2014 [Opens in New Window]

Map of Northwest Indiana broken into regions.For our final update of the year we have pulled out a selection of stories from the past 12 months for your review. But this isn’t everything! For a complete rundown of 2013 highlights,click here! [Opens in New Window]

January: RDA Transformations: The Movie 
The RDA partners with the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation at Purdue University Calumet to released an eight-minute video highlighting the organization’s accomplishments to date. Watch the video [Opens in New Window].

February: Land O’Frost Moves HQ to Munster
Lunchmeat and sausage maker Land O’Frost announces it will relocate is its Lansing headquarters to Munster, creating up to 50 new jobs. The RDA is supporting the project through its Deal Closing Fund. Photos and video from the October groundbreaking arehere [Opens in New Window].

March: NIRPC, Forum Offer RDA Support
The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and the Northwest Indiana Forum have joined the chorus of regional organizations supporting the Regional Development Authority’s request for continued state funding beyond 2015. More

April: RDA Board Approves Transit Partnership with NICTD
The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) have chosen URS Corporation to develop a strategic business plan for commuter transit in northern Indiana. More

May: Expanded Lakefront Liquor Licenses Gain Governor’s Approval
On May 7, Gov. Mike Pence signed into law Senate Enrolled Act 173, allowing the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to auction six new alcohol sales permits to Whiting restaurants located within three blocks of Lake Michigan. More

June: EPA Awards Brownfield Grant to RDA 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the RDA $800,000 toward the establishment of a $1 million revolving loan fund for brownfield remediation in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago. The RDA was one of 240 grant recipients who will receive $62.5 million from the EPA’s Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) grants. The RDA grant was one of just five awarded in Indiana, and the largest outside of Indianapolis. More

Several local and regional officials – including Congressman Pete Visclosky, EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman, East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland and RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna - spoke with our video crew about how the award will drive growth and economic development in the region.

July: Board Approves Matching Grant for Hammond
The Board approved a $200,000 matching grant for the City of Hammond during their July meeting. The grant will supplement $800,000 from Hammond for demolition on the 2500 block of New York Avenue and support $18 million in new development. More

August: RDA Releases Annual Report
What has the Regional Development Authority been up to lately? For the answer you can check out our most recent annual report here  [Opens in New Window](pdf). Click here [Opens in New Window] to read this year’s message from our Chairman of the Board, Donald P. Fesko and our President and CEO, Bill Hanna.

September: Deal-Closing Fund Fuels More Jobs, Investment in Porter County
The RDA has pledged $1.4 million from its Deal Closing Fund as part of a package of local, regional and state incentives that secured a $260 million investment by Pratt Industries, Inc., in Northwest Indiana. The expansion is projected to create up to 137 new jobs by 2018. Click here for more information and video of the press conference announcing the deal [Opens in New Window].

October: Deal-Closing Fund Helps Bring 258 Jobs to Northwest Indiana 
Tec Air Inc., a designer and manufacturer of plastic air movement components and systems, will relocate its Willow Springs, Ill. headquarters to Munster, creating up to 258 new jobs by 2016. The RDA has pledged approximately $2 million from its Deal-Closing Fund as part of a package of local and state incentives that attracted the company to the region. More.

Indiana 105 spoke with Bill Hanna about the deal and other RDA projects. Listen to the interview here [Opens in New Window].

November: Board of Directors Approves $17 Million Grant for East Chicago 
The Board of Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has approved a $17.395 million matching grant for the Waterfront Revitalization Initiative in East Chicago. The grant will help fund phase 1 of the initiative, which includes improvements at Jeorse Park Beach and the East Chicago Marina; street and overpass work; and demolition of vacant properties. Read more.

Inside Indiana Business spoke with Bill Hanna about the economic development potential of the project.Listen to the interview here [Opens in New Window].

December: A Look Ahead
The good folks at Valparaiso-based Ideas in Motion Media, operators of nwindianalife.com, valpolife.com, portagelife.com and laportecountylife.com, recently had RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna in for an in-depth conversation about both the organization he leads and the future of Northwest Indiana. Here’s part 1 [Opens in New Window] and here is part 2 [Opens in New Window]

From Bill…

 

With 2014 here, it’s time to put 2013 into the books — but not before one last look back at a busy and productive year. The past 12 months have seen the RDA employ its Deal-Closing Fund to help bring more than 400 jobs to Northwest Indiana and pledge $17 million for shoreline work in East Chicago under the Marquette Plan vision. Shoreline projects have begun to reap rewards, as seen by the increased private-sector investment in Whiting, and the City of Gary has begun to leverage the improvements at Marquette Park with events like marathons and movie nights. Overall, an ROI analysis presented to the legislature in the 2013 session estimated that the RDA has had a $1.1 billion impact on the region since 2006, and we aren’t done yet. Looking forward, we have begun working with NICTD on expansion of the South Shore in order to connect our region with the global economic engine next door in Chicago. After our successes this year I have no doubts that we will reach our goals in 2014. But in the meantime, let me wish you and your families a happy, safe and joyous New Year.