IU Health’s Mammoth Project Could Spur Housing Boom in Indianapolis

IU Health's $1 billion project will include consolidating the Methodist and University hospitals’ adult services into one academic medical campus in downtown Indianapolis.

Indianapolis–Project details are starting to emerge for Indiana University Health’s $1 billion plan to expand the Methodist Hospital at Capitol Avenue and West 16th Street in Indianapolis.

IU Health Plans $1B Medical Center in Indianapolis

IU Health plans $1 billion medical center in Indianapolis

Methodist’s expansion plans call for a 500,000-square-foot ambulatory care building and 350,000-square-foot high-acute bed tower that together could house a total of 600 to 800 beds. The facilities are set to rise along Capitol Avenue, replacing two century-old structures. Meanwhile, the middle part of the hospital, which is also the newest, will be renovated.

The state’s largest hospital group expects to begin the design phase later this year, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. Construction could start in 2017 and last through 2022.

The project is part of a broader IU Health plan to maximize efficiency by closing University Hospital on the IUPUI campus, which will reduce its in-patient facilities in the city’s core from three to two. The Methodist and University hospitals together comprise 1,200 licensed beds, but only 800 to 850 are occupied per day.

Additionally, the project will bring a 250,000-square-foot education building, a 250,000-square-foot faculty office facility and a 100,000-square-foot research building. As part of the restructuring, all obstetrical and newborn care will be relocated from Methodist to Riley Hospital for Children on the IUPUI campus, which entails nearly 150,000 square feet of new inpatient and outpatient space. Upon completion of the expansion, University could reopen as a post-acute or rehabilitation hospital.

According to Herbert Buchanan, president of Methodist and University hospitals, this massive project could bring much-needed redevelopment to the neighborhood, acting as a catalyst for its revitalization. Areas located south of West 16th Street and east of Senate Avenue that mostly consist of paved parking lots and green space could be the most attractive for residential development once the expansion begins.

“It could be a live-where-you-work opportunity,” Buchanan told 150 members of the Indiana Subcontractors Association in late March. “This whole region of Indianapolis could change.”

Image courtesy of IU Health