Downtown Clarian project expected to create 1,200 jobs

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Clarian Health is expected to create nearly 1,200 jobs when it builds a neurosciences center and administrative building just south of Methodist Hospital.

Details of the project, which are surfacing as developers prepare to present their plans to city officials, also call for the relocation of an additional 1,225 jobs within Clarian’s system.

Clarian is partnering with Shiel Sexton Co. Inc. on the roughly $200 million project, in which the hospital system would lease space in the buildings. The local construction company owns all the land east of Capitol Avenue from 14th Street to 16th Street with the exception of Indianapolis Fire Station No. 5 at 155 W. 16th St.

The 1,187 jobs Clarian expects to create would boast an average annual salary of $46,925. The range would run from $27,000 for clerical staff to as high as $104,000 for management.

Indianapolis-based Shiel, which has gradually bought vacant parcels in the development area over several years, plans to move the fire station down the street so it can use its property as well. The Metropolitan Development Commission will consider a resolution at its Wednesday afternoon meeting to transfer ownership of the property from the Department of Public Safety to DMD, which in turn would give it to Shiel.

Also included in the project is a seven-level, 1,100-space parking garage with 35,000 square feet of retail and medical office space on the first floor.

Clarian plans to start construction in November on the five-story, 247,000-square-foot, $120 million neurosciences center, with a completion date of April 2012.

City officials undoubtedly are excited about the prospects for the new jobs, which would be created by 2020, according to an application for tax increment financing support submitted to the Indianapolis Economic Development Commission.

The commission was slated to receive the application, which requests TIF funds for infrastructure costs, at its Wednesday morning meeting.

Michael Huber, deputy mayor for economic development, described the project as “huge.”

“It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the city,” he said. “It’ll attract a great mix of new employment to the downtown area. And we think it will open up a lot of new possibilities for development of the neighborhood.”

Clarian declined to comment on its job-creation plans because the projects have yet to receive city approval.

Members of the Metropolitan Development Commission are expected to learn more about the projects at their Sept. 15 meeting.

“Details between the city and Clarian are still being finalized,” Huber said, “but the mayor has vowed to provide some infrastructure support.”

To be built at the corner of 16th and Missouri streets, the neurosciences center would provide psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, neuropsychology, rehabilitation, human performance, pain management, neurology and neurosurgery services. An ambulatory surgery center and space for other outpatient services could be added later, according to the TIF application.

Meanwhile, the five-story, 280,000-square-foot administration building would be constructed near 16th Street and Capitol Avenue. Work on the $87 million building is scheduled to start in April and would be finished in May 2013.

At the height of construction, in 2011 and 2012, Clarian estimates that 1,700 workers will be involved on the projects.

The buildings would be Shiel’s first new-construction project in the neighborhood, but not its first partnership with Clarian. On its Web site, Shiel touts its role in building the 410,000-square-foot Clarian West Medical Center in Avon and a 56-room cardiac unit at Methodist Hospital, which sits just across the street from the company’s holdings at 16th and Capitol.

“We’re hoping to continue progress by turning vacant ground and parking into something that would advance that whole life-sciences corridor,” Shiel Sexton CEO Mike Dilts told IBJ when it first reported the Clarian project in January.

Clarian also is planning to build a bed tower at Methodist in a massive project that adds to its renewed commitment to the downtown campus.

The tower would have 175 to 250 beds and allow Methodist to make all its rooms private. Right now, half of Methodist’s 760 beds are in pairs in shared rooms.

Clarian projects it could spend $375 million to $500 million on the project, which would not be complete until mid-2015.

Since the 1997 creation of Clarian as a joint venture of Methodist and the Indiana University School of Medicine, Methodist has seen only one modest expansion. In 2002, Clarian centralized cardiovascular procedures there with a $36 million addition.

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