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Consultant: Goal Of Hospital Redevelopment Is Connectivity To Downtown

A map of a possible use for the Bloomington Hospital redevelopment site.

The redevelopment site includes 24 acres of land along Second Street moving East-West. (Courtesy: City of Bloomington)

The urban design team from Skidmore, Owens & Merrill conducted its third public forum Tuesday night on the future design of the IU Health Bloomington Hospital site. 

READ MORE: Consultants Present 3 Schemes For Hospital Site

Consultant Doug Voight said one of the main goals of the redevelopment project is to provide connectivity with downtown.

“How do we create a destination that is complementary to downtown, but that is a way to bring a focus to this part of the city?” Voight said.

Voight said one way to do that could be using existing structures and landscapes including areas like the B-Line Trail and Trades Buildings Park to create connecting plazas and gardens.

A few landmarks around the hospital redevelopment site.
Voight highlighted the above landmarks as key structures the plan could utilize in its design by creating urban waterways and gardens to bridge them together. (Courtesy: City of Bloomington)

A main concern for many community members is whether cars will be allowed in the new space. They worry vehicle thoroughfares could take away from the environmentally sustainable concept. 

Voight said if cars are allowed, it would be limited to local access only, and would not link to major roadways.

“Perhaps this topic alone requires further study that we’ll need to talk with both the engineers, but also do further assessment on really the functionality of the space," Voight said. 

Mixed-use housing was another key topic brought up during the discussion.

"I think within these typologies there's the option for one, two and three-bedroom units," Voight said.

The city said over the next decade, Bloomington will need an additional 2,592 units to support projected population growth. Based on a market analysis done by development advisors SB Friedman, this site could provide 660-1,000 units ranging in affordability over the next 10 years. 

Deputy Mayor Mick Renneisen said the final master plan of the project will take several years to come together.

"I just want to remind everybody that this isn’t a two-year project. This is a multiyear, maybe decades long development project," Renneisen said. "These are just early models, not final design proposals."

A fourth public forum will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 18 where a final design option will be revealed.

Members of the community still have the opportunity to give input online at bloomingtonhospitalsite.com.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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