The Michiana Event Center will move from its current location in a former manufacturing plant in Howe to Shipshewana. The $19.2 million project will receive $3.84 million in Regional Cities funding that previously had been approved by the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority.
Those involved in the project expect the new Michiana Event Center to become one the Midwest’s premier destinations for trade shows, concerts and equine events, according to an announcement Friday from the IEDC.
The campus, which will include a 100,000-square-foot trade-show building and 55,000-square-foot arena, is projected to attract approximately 191,000 visitors in its first year of operation and more than 335,000 visitors in its second year, the IEDC said.
“We’re grateful for the support from the state that will allow this dream project to come to fruition,” Jeff Fought, general manager of the Michiana Event Center, said in the IEDC announcement. “Shipshewana is already a top destination in Indiana, and the Michiana Event Center will bring new attractions and events that will continue to take our region to the next level.”
“The Michiana Event Center will prove to be a transformational project for our community, region and the entire state of Indiana,” Ryne Krock, president and chief executive officer of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp., said in the IEDC announcement.
“The state’s innovative approach to economic development via the Regional Cities Initiative has already made a profound impact that will be felt for generations,” he continued. “Regional Cities projects such as the MEC have already begun to generate buzz and will surely help our region attract and retain talent.”
The IEDC also said it had formally approved $2.48 million in Regional Cities funding for the Posterity Heights Scholar House project in Fort Wayne and $1.6 million for the UB Block project in Huntington, with that funding contingent on the project receiving federal historic tax credits.
“Indiana has built a great business environment through deliberate planning, sound fiscal polices and a collaborative effort to create long-term solutions for economic growth and prosperity,” Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger said in the IEDC announcement.
“The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative utilizes those same principles of planning and collaboration to build a better quality of place throughout Indiana. The Michiana Event Center, the Posterity Scholar House and the UB Block are transformational projects for northeast Indiana and the state of Indiana, offering something for everyone.”