2 new projects recommended for Regional Cities funding

The two-story ballroom is a part of the Embassy Theatre's vision project, which is being paid for in part by the Regional Cities Initiative.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Two projects have been recommended for Regional Cities Initiative Funding. The Embassy Theatre and the YMCA of DeKalb County both requested money for their million dollar projects, and they’re close to getting it.

The Embassy Theatre wants the money for their vision project, which began in January 2015 and is projected to be finished this September, includes a two-story high ballroom, rooftop garden, a rehearsal space and breakout area.

The Embassy’s executive director, Kelly Updike, said they’re almost done paying for their $10 million dollar vision project. They asked the Board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority for the last $1.7 million dollars they need. This final funding would free them of the debt they got into to pay for the project.

“It was very exciting,” Updike said. “This means a lot to the Embassy and to our community. With it, we’re debt free and that means that we can focus on programming, focus on maintaining our mission and protecting this building and growing our operation. So it was very, very exciting. We did the happy dance in the parking lot.”

The YMCA of DeKalb County asked for $947,000 to fund a youth development complex. Among it’s features will be a state-of-the-art fieldhouse, natatorium, playground and indoor professional training facility.

The leader of the Regional Cities Initiative, Michael Galbraith, calls the projects game changing. He said they will grow the Northeast Indiana economy.

“I am convinced that funding these projects will help the region,” he said. “We want to make sure people are attracted and remain in Fort Wayne and all of our 11 counties. We think that changing the idea of quality of place and quality of life is something that’s incredibly important to attracting business.”

The board’s recommendations now go to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation for review and final approval to receive the funding.

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