St. Francis plans to vacate the old hospital in two years when it opens a $200 million expansion of its Indianapolis campus on the far-south side. The hospital is negotiating with a buyer, and the buyer wants Beech Grove's help in financing the $17.8 million purchase, said Mayor Donald "Joe" Wright.
Unlike the hospital, a new owner for the property would pay taxes, helping to justify an economic-development bond the city may offer to assist in the acquisition. Potential users of the old hospital include operators of senior and assisted-living housing, life-sciences businesses and medical tenants. St. Francis won't allow another hospital. The site is critical to Beech Grove. "No one wants 900,000 square feet going dark in their community," Wright said. "There aren't a whole lot of folks out there looking to purchase old hospitals." He would not name the interested developer but said it is not a local player.