Regional Development Authority Presents Positive Impact at Duneland Chamber Luncheon

By: Natalie Wirsing Last Updated: June 26, 2013

On Wednesday, June 26th, the Duneland Chamber of Commerce held its annual luncheon, provided by Lemon Tree Mediterranean Grill, to recognize the positive impact that the organization RDA has made on Northwest Indiana. The Regional Development Authority’s (RDA), mission is to find innovative ways to redevelop Northwest Indiana.

Speakers at the luncheon included, Heather Ennis, Executive Director and member of the Duneland Chamber of Cmmerce, Mary Fox from Kramer & Leonard Office Products and Sherri Ziller, Chief Operating Officer and member of NWI Regional Development Authority.

The main projects of the RDA include the redeveloping the Gary/Chicago International Airport, commuter rail extension, regionalization of bus transit, shoreline redevelopment, and other qualified economic development projects.

“Anyone can work with the municipalities to submit a project for consideration to the RDA,” Ziller said. “We strongly suggest that people work with their municipalities to put together plans – documents which will include funding mechanisms, planning documents, etc. We’ll then review the proposals and ask questions before handing them to our panel. More questions will be asked until we’re sure that we’ve completed our due diligence in moving the projects forward.”

The RDA has helped the redevelopment of the Gary Chicago International Airport by laying new rail beds and bridges and also a new vehicle overpass. By 2025, the expansion of the Gary/Chicago International Airport is expected to create 2,430 new jobs and will generate $527 million in economic output for Northwest Indiana.

The shoreline redevelopment included the reconstruction of the Marquette Park Pavilion, George Lake Pedestrian Bridge and the Whiting Lakefront Park. By 2025, the redevelopments of these areas will generate about $93 million annually in total economic output and will create about 1,010 new jobs.

The RDA's investments in Northwest Indiana have helped to bring new advances and jobs to our communities and will continue to help Northwest Indiana grow. The RDA would like to thank the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, Porter Regional Hospital and Kramer & Leonard for their support.