The Board of Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority approved a $200,000 matching grant for the City of Hammond during today’s quarterly board meeting. The grant will supplement $800,000 from Hammond for demolition and cleanup work on the 2500 block of New York Avenue.
“Both private developers and Calumet College of St. Joseph have expressed interest in building housing and dormitories in this area if vacant buildings are removed,” said RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna. “With this award we have an opportunity to stay within our role as a catalyst but also support secondary education and the economic benefits commensurate with a strong and diverse regional college and university system.”
According to the city, demolishing the former Amoco Oil Company Research and Development Laboratory, which is vacant, will create approximately $18 million in housing and dorm development opportunities.
The grant comes under the RDA’s Challenge Grant program, which offers awards of up to $200,000 for local projects of regional significance. Other Challenge Grant recipients include the City of Gary and the Town of Pines.
The Board also accepted the City of East Chicago’s funding application for a $39 million project to create a public-private partnership to capture economic development opportunities in the North Harbor area. The application will be assigned to the appropriate working group for further examination
Finally, during the meeting, the Board approved a request for Deal Closing Funds from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). IEDC is currently in negotiations with a company considering Northwest Indiana in its plans. No RDA funds will be used unless a deal is finalized. Due to the sensitive nature of the talks, no further details are available at this time.