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Indiana officials OK spending $122M to buy land for potential $50B project

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(The Center Square) – Indiana budget officials have approved more than $200 million in funding requests made by state economic development officials, including a $122 million allocation to help the state land a $50 billion investment by a semiconductor maker.

The decision came during an Indiana State Budget Committee meeting in Indianapolis.

According to the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the nine-figure sum will be used to buy about 1,000 acres of land the unnamed high-tech chip maker is considering for its investment. The IEDC said Indiana and an unnamed Midwestern state are finalists for the project.

A decision is expected later this year.

“The IEDC anticipates including the property as a credit as part of a broader incentive package for the company that will be developed over the course of the next few months,” the project summary stated.

If Indiana is unsuccessful in landing the project, state officials will seek to use the land in the LEAP district, a Boone County development zone halfway between Purdue’s main campus and Indianapolis, for other economic development purposes.

The project comes a year after President Biden signed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act into law. The measure seeks to entice semiconductor and microchip makers to shift production to the U.S. through billions in incentives.

Indiana has become a target for such investments thanks to work taking place at Purdue University. The West Lafayette school plans to spend $100 million to lead research and development in the sector. Last month, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Purdue would partner with a leading Belgian research institute to further its work in the field over the next five years.

Funding for two other Boone County projects was also approved. IEDC plans to spend $16 million to acquire roughly 290 acres of land to attract a $3.2 billion data center that would create up to 250 new high-salary positions. Another $20.2 million was approved to buy 220 acres of land to build a new highway interchange in Boone County and make other infrastructure improvements around Eli Lilly’s $3.7 billion pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. A groundbreaking took place on that project in April.

The budget committee also authorized incentives IEDC plans to offer companies that have recently announced new investments or expansions of existing facilities in the state. That included $35 million for a $3.5 billion General Motors-Samsung joint venture to build batteries for electric vehicles near South Bend.

The committee also approved a $10 million proposal for GM, which plans to invest $632 million in its truck plant near Fort Wayne.

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