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New Plans For Bloomington Hospital Site A Concern For Nearby Residents

(Urban Land Institute)

Proposals for the future of IU Health Bloomington Hospital's downtown site are having a ripple effect on surrounding neighborhoods.

IU Health Bloomington will move to a new campus on the north side of town in a few years. The City of Bloomington is buying the site and recently received recommendations for developing it.

Plans for the site include an arts and activities center, office space and a mix of different kinds of housing.

At a public event with the city planning firm that recommended the plans, members of the public expressed concerns that some of the proposed housing units could add dense concentrations of students to the quiet neighborhoods nearby.

They say there's not enough low income housing in the plan to meet the needs.

Glee Noble lives across from the medical complex and can see the hospital from her front porch.

“I don’t think it would matter to me if they build houses to face our houses,” she says. “I don’t want to see any high rises, and that’s all I’ve really thought about.”

Noble says says there are a number of students living in her neighborhood, but she isn’t sure how many more the area could handle without changing.

"I don’t know, if its densely packed I suppose that would be a problem," Noble says, "Like a Smallwood situation that would be unfortunate I think."

It will be several years before Noble and other nearby residents will know what will occupy the 24-acre site.

The city will take ownership of the site in 2021, and estimates for completion of all the projects on the site could be as late as 2034.

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