An arts and activities center, office space, and a variety of housing projects could eventually go up on the current site of the IU Health Bloomington Hospital. A team of city planning experts presented a set of recommendations to the city today on how to redevelop the 24-acre site.
The city hired the Urban Land Institute in January after they announced IU Health would sell the property to them earlier this year. The hospital will move to its new location off State Road 45/46 in 2020, and the city will take over the current site in 2021. The panel conducted over 100 interviews with residents during their week in town.
The team proposed breaking down the current site into blocks that could be more easily redeveloped and re-branding the area which sits between the historic Prospect Hill and McDoel Gardens neighborhoods. The plan also includes keeping site’s parking garage and connecting the site to the B-Line trail.
The presentation includes details for single family homes, townhouses and multi-family apartment buildings. According to the plan, single family homes could cost $260,000 and townhouses could cost $230,000, though the panel made clear these numbers were just estimates.
In addition to the site redevelopment itself, the team recommended the city update its regulatory policies and hire a master developer to help in the process. Glenda Hood is the chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Advisory Service Panel for the Bloomington project. She says there is plenty of potential in the space for people of multiple generations and income levels.
“It’s a place where people can work and live in the same area and then enjoy all the other assets and amenities that are close by in Bloomington,” she says.
If the city develops the land as recommended, it could cost up to 134-million dollars. But, it’s unclear how the project would be funded. A timeline included in the presentation predicted the redevelopment could conservatively be completed by 2034.
Several concerns were brought up during a question and answer portion of the presentation. Some citizens were still in favor of keeping the current hospital building and remodeling it. Others thought that the affordable housing proposed would not be affordable enough for many Bloomington residents.
The Urban Land Institute will send a detailed report of recommendations to the city in about two months.