Members of Bloomington’s community joined together on Thursday, March 28 to celebrate the installation of The Forge’s final steel beam. This ‘Topping Off’ Ceremony represents a major milestone for The Forge construction project. 

Participants included Mayor Kerry Thomson, John Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at The Mill, The Mill staff and board members, Redevelopment Commissioners, Trades District Advisory Board, BEDC, Weddle Bros, Building Associates, as well as other community leaders. 

The Forge at Trades District 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 Forge 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 comes at an opportune time, connecting Indiana University and The Mill with NSWC Crane / Westgate to the south, and 16 Tech to the North. 

Participants of yesterday’s event were able to sign a beam that was installed into the structure – forever cementing them into the fabric of The Forge’s future. 

“This project isn’t just about buildings and businesses,” said John Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at The Mill. “It’s about building a future where Bloomington thrives as a center for innovation and opportunity. And the best part? This future is under construction right now, right here in Bloomington.”

The Forge will be available for lease starting November 1, 2024. Visit for more information.