While its competitors are asking lawmakers to put the brakes on its rapid building, Mainstreet Property Group is instead pressing the accelerator on its plans to erect more high-end nursing homes around Indiana.
The Carmel-based developer announced Friday morning that it will open seven more facilities for Hoosier seniors this year and another 17 on top of that in the next two years. Those facilities, in total, would create 3,000 permanent jobs for Hoosiers.
If they’re allowed to be built.
The Indiana General Assembly is mulling a five-year moratorium on the construction of skilled nursing facilities, which if passed would prevent Mainstreet from building any new facilities not already begun by June 30. That legislation, known as Senate Bill 173, has passed the Indiana Senate and now awaits a hearing in the Indiana House.
Zeke Turner, CEO of Mainstreet, said that if Indiana enacts a construction moratorium, Mainstreet will simply build more facilities in other states. The company has existing facilities in eight states and is working to expand in six more.
“Where many see uncertainty in the changing health care landscape, we see opportunity to design, build and offer a model that appeals to the consumer – one focusing on comfort, dignity and privacy,” said Turner in a prepared statement.
The promise of 3,000 jobs in the middle of the legislative debate is designed to help Mainstreet’s cause politically.
Mainstreet alarmed older nursing home companies by developing 10 new facilities in the past five years—and breaking an unwritten rule of the industry by building in competitors’ backyards.
“There’s significant opportunity for those who can bring innovation to the tired, existing models of health care,” said Turner in the statement.
That prompted the Indiana Health Care Association and other long-term care groups to call for a ban on new construction. The nursing homes groups say Mainstreet’s developments have contributed to a building war, which has led to falling occupancy rates in nursing homes around the state.
“If someone does go out of business—and that’s a real concern—then you have an access problem,” Scott Tittle, president of the Indiana Health Care Association, told IBJ in January. “Let’s hit the pause button and allow the market to stabilize.”
Mainstreet is part of a coalition of construction companies and a couple of nursing home operators that oppose the ban.
The long-term care facilities Mainstreet develops take few or no Medicaid patients. The Medicaid program in Indiana is funded one-third by state taxes and two-thirds by federal taxes.
In 2014, Mainstreet has already opened one new facility, in Indianapolis’ Castleton area. This month, it will open another Indianapolis facility, at 16th and Arlington streets. Later this year it will open facilities in Kokomo, South Bend, Terre Haute, Lafayette and one more in Indianapolis.
Next year, Mainstreet plans to open facilities in Carmel, Dyer, Bloomington, Crown Point and other communities.