ELKHART, Ind.–The city of Elkhart has gone from having the highest unemployment rate in the nation to coming out on top of an index from The Wall Street Journal of the nation’s best communities for housing price appreciation and lifestyle amenities.
“The downtown and the community is much more vibrant and there are a lot of nice amenities here in Elkhart County that we’d love to show off,” said Chris Stager, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County, in an interview with Inside Indiana Business.
Stager cited a $200 million investment from Amazon into Elkhart for a distribution center.
“We’re happy to have a project of this scope to come into our region. We realized it would come into our region regardless. We wanted to make sure we support it and try to grow automation along with more sophisticated use of technology with all of our businesses here,” said Stager.
He is also pleased with hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into downtown and in the city’s River District. Elkhart-based Ranger Distribution Inc. broke ground on a nearly 70,000-square-foot expansion of its warehouse and production facilities. There was also a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a $23 million renovation of the nearly 100-year-old Hotel Elkhart, a boutique property that is considered one of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection of hotels.
“We’re also improving the waterways in downtown so they are more navigable. We have a significant amount of multi-family housing going up there as well, so we’re trying to make it a more walkable community in downtown Elkhart,” said Stager.