Proposal for $20M family center project at Broad Ripple Park advances

An early-stage rendering of the proposed Broad Ripple Park Family Center. (Rendering courtesy of Context Design)

A proposal by the Indianapolis Parks Department to build a health and family center at Broad Ripple Park took a step toward approval Thursday.

Metropolitan Development Commission Hearing Examiner Judy Weerts Hall recused herself from ruling on the proposal, which calls for the parks department—through a partnership with BR Health Holdings—to build a 40,000-square-foot facility at the park, replacing the existing 11,000-square-foot center, which was built in 1986 as a library branch.

The recusal automatically advances the case to the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission, while also tabling a public hearing on the matter until the commission’s Feb. 5 hearing.

IBJ reported last week that Indy Parks sees the public-private partnership, which would feature a Community Health clinic, as an opportunity to provide a much-needed public space on a tight capital improvement budget.

The project’s expected $20 million cost would be covered by Indianapolis-based developer Avenue Development LLC, which would partner with the city on the project.

While city personnel and many living in the Broad Ripple area generally support the project, some residents are opposed to the development. Some disapprove of the use of public land for private development and others don’t see a true need for a new family center at the park.

The MDC will have the final say on the variance request, which is required because a health care center is generally not allowed to occupy areas zoned for park use. DMD staff has recommended approval of the variance.

Hall, who is contracted by the city to serve as hearing examiner, said she recused herself because she holds a full-time job as an administrator at the Jordan YMCA, located north of Broad Ripple.

She said she believed the recusal was appropriate because the family center would offer similar services to the YMCA and because the park and the YMCA have an overlap in clients and visitors.

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3 thoughts on “Proposal for $20M family center project at Broad Ripple Park advances

  1. It’s too bad there is so much negative “dis-information” out there. Just this morning a “man on the street” interview during a local TV show said he thought it was “awful that the city keeps selling off park lands to save money.” The city or parks dept isn’t selling ANYTHING. The plan only allows for a lease to build the health and family on the city’s land. The land REMAINS city owned. Another person said she didn’t like the natural grassy area reduced. From what I’ve heard the new building takes up the footprint of the existing family center – and extends it westward over concrete pavement used for a parking lot. Please folks, take time to learn about the proposal.

  2. My concern is that we don’t have one more health center in Broad Ripple, It isn’t needed! We have so many already, access isn’t an issue and it just drives up cost. Use the space for other things: day care, trainings, etc.

  3. We MAY have ample healthcare options today, but Broad Ripple continues to grow because people trust in it’s future. Specifically – more office buildings or conversions are in progress, several hundred new housing units are under construction, with other’s being considered recently completed or still in the planning stage – such as on College Ave not too far south of the Vogue Theater. Eventually there will be additional needs – and it takes quite some time to build and provide them.

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