An aerial view of Howard Park on Thursday, July 29, 2021, in South Bend. Local officials are planning to apply for a second round of state grants that could provide money for projects such as the park.  
ROBERT FRANKLIN, SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE
An aerial view of Howard Park on Thursday, July 29, 2021, in South Bend. Local officials are planning to apply for a second round of state grants that could provide money for projects such as the park. ROBERT FRANKLIN, SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is going to be giving St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall counties a nice Christmas present toward the end of the year, but no one knows exactly what’s going to be in the package.

Officials have until the end of August to turn in a wish list of projects that could accelerate the transformation of the region in the same way that $42 million through the Regional Cities initiative was used to help build parks, theaters, aquatic centers, housing and apartment complexes in the three counties over the past several years.

“I call it Regional Cities 2.0,” said Jeff Rea, president and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Given the success of the first Regional Cities initiative, we were hoping the state would provide another round of funding.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb first talked about the initiative during his State of the State address in January and worked with the General Assembly to ensure the state was in a good enough financial position to fund a program similar to Regional Cities.

Rea was anticipating that the state might carve out $100 million for such a program and was surprised when Holcomb announced that $500 million had been set aside.
Copyright © 2021, South Bend Tribune