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Mick Renneisen
Deputy Mayor
renneism@bloomington.in.gov
812-349-3406
 

Hospital Site Reuse Committee to Consider Recommendations for Core Neighborhood Redevelopment


Bloomington, Ind. - The Hospital Site Reutilization Steering Committee will meet on Tuesday, July 31 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall (401 North Morton Street).  The committee of more than 30 community members will reconvene for an update on recent developments regarding the current IU Health Bloomington Hospital site and to consider future directions for it.

The committee -- which comprises city and county elected officials, members of neighborhood associations, real estate and development professionals, and representatives from area nonprofits -- first met in May 2015.  That organizational meeting followed the announcement of IU Health’s (IUH) decision to relocate Bloomington Hospital from its current location to the site of the IU golf driving range just off the State Road 45/46 Bypass, where it will anchor a new regional academic health campus. The City of Bloomington engaged in negotiations with IUH to purchase the West Second Street property in December 2016, and in January 2017 contracted with national consulting firm Urban Land Institute (ULI) to assess the site with a view toward future uses. In April 2018, a ULI team spent a week in Bloomington touring the site and its environs and gathering input from more than 100 interviews with community, business, and government stakeholders. In May 2018, the City of Bloomington purchased the 24-acre site from IUH  for $6.5 million. In the purchase agreement, IUH requires the primary hospital structure be demolished, at their cost.

“The Bloomington Hospital site gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape our city,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “I am grateful for the vigorous involvement of the community in guiding the development of this neighborhood at our city’s core toward future uses that will help Bloomington flourish.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the original members of the reutilization committee will review the recommendations ULI makes for the site in their just-published draft of the final report, available on the city’s website at the following link:  https://bloomington.in.gov/sites/default/files/2018-07/Bloomington_IN_PanelReport-DRAFT.pdf.  Together with city officials, the committee -- along with other stakeholders -- will take the report under advisement in the process of determining how to redevelop the area in a way that best responds to the needs of the community.  

The report’s recommendations include zoning the site for mixed use, including retail, residential, and office space. The emphasis on creating office space, as well as a range of affordable housing in the area, was based on stakeholders’ indications of  limited supply in both categories. A community center, with an emphasis on arts programming, would helm the site, per ULI’s recommendations. The report also considers spatial, aesthetic, and contextual considerations of the site, recommending measures to reintegrate the current “mega-block” into its environs.  To this end, the report suggests extending the historic street grid into the property, adding green space that connects to existing parks nearby, and transitioning the scale of new buildings to segue into the residential neighborhoods surrounding it.

ULI also recommends the use of a Master Developer to oversee the development of the property.  At the July 31 meeting, committee members will learn about current efforts to retain a master developer and a timeline for such concerns as building infrastructure and obtaining approvals for design and zoning, among the many decisions to be made over the course of the project.  Community involvement will continue in the form of a core committee of the existing group, or with the addition of new members, as the project takes shape.

IU Health projects that the hospital’s operations will transition to the new site in 2021.

 

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