Former Bloomington Mayor John Fernandez – Photo by Maximillian Tortoriello via The Mill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2023
For more information, please contact:
John Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, The Mill, 202-420-8594 or [email protected]
Angela Van Rooy, Interim Communications Director, Office of the Mayor
[email protected] or 812-349-3505
Bloomington Breaks Ground on Trades District Tech Center
Bloomington, Ind. – Members of Bloomington’s tech community joined together with civic and private sector leaders on Thursday, October 5, to celebrate a groundbreaking for the Trades District Tech Center. Due to inclement weather, the ceremony was held indoors across the street at The Mill, with a make-shift trough of dirt, hardhats, and nickel-plated shovels. The mood was festive as presenters shared the history of the project to date and the vision for its future.
The Trades District Tech Center is a new, 22,000 square foot, sustainably designed building that will provide class A office space for Bloomington’s growing tech sector. The project is funded by a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), and $9.3 million in matching funds from the City of Bloomington.
The groundbreaking ceremony featured remarks from Pat East, Executive Director, The Mill; Larry Allen, Deputy Mayor, City of Bloomington; Sue Sgambelluri, President, Bloomington Common Council; Dianne Powell, Regional Director, US Senator Todd Young; Jennifer Pearl, President, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC); and John Fernandez, Senior Vice President, The Mill.
“The Trades District Tech Center is a major investment in Bloomington’s future,” said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton in a prepared statement. “Our thriving tech sector needs room to grow, and this new facility fits beautifully, complementing the adjacent Mill, and helping us attract and retain top talent. We are grateful to the EDA for their support of this important project.”
The Trades District Tech Center is part of a larger vision to transform Bloomington’s Trades District into a vibrant hub for technology and innovation. The project is expected to create 866 new private sector jobs and generate $218 million in economic activity for the community over a ten-year period.
“The Trades District Tech Center is a critical piece of our vision for a modern, sustainable urban neighborhood that nurtures creativity and entrepreneurship,” said Pat East, Executive Director of The Mill. “This project will help us to brand Bloomington as a lively tech sector hub and attract private investment, employment, and visitors.”
The development of the Trades District Tech Center comes at an opportune time to leverage major new federal investments at NSWC Crane / Westgate to the south, and 16 Tech to the north in downtown Indianapolis. “The Trades District Tech Center in Bloomington is another piece of Indiana’s emerging hard tech corridor. From north to south, Hoosiers are innovating in ways that will bolster our nation’s economic and national security for decades to come,” said United States Senator Todd Young.
About the Trades District
The Trades District is a former industrial area in Bloomington that is being transformed by public and private investment into a vibrant hub for technology and innovation. The district is home to a growing number of tech companies, startups, and coworking spaces. The Trades District Tech Center is the latest addition to the district and will provide much-needed office space for Bloomington’s growing tech sector.
About The Mill
The Mill is the heart of southern Indiana’s startup ecosystem. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, its mission is to spark Bloomington’s innovation economy by launching and accelerating startups, and its vision is to become Indiana’s center of gravity for entrepreneurship. The Mill is a leader in the development of the Trades District Tech Center.