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St. Vincent says it remains 'fully committed' to West 86th Street campus

February 19, 2018

St. Vincent Health said Monday that it remains “fully committed” to its main hospital campus on West 86th Street—even as it continues to refuse to say whether it is the organization behind a proposed $1 billion hospital complex just three miles away at 96th Street and Spring Mill Road in Carmel.

In a written statement, St. Vincent highlighted recent investments at its campus at 2001 W. 86th St., where its flagship hospital opened in 1974. Those include renovating the women’s hospital and building an education and simulation center, where doctors and nurses can practice complex procedures on high-tech mannequins.

“As for our 86th St. campus, we are fully committed to our St Vincent Indianapolis hospital and have recently invested considerably in new projects at the location,” St. Vincent spokeswoman Tangela Floyd said in an email.

IBJ reported Monday that an unidentified health care company plans to spend at least $1 billion to build a new medical center, including a large inpatient hospital and medical offices, on the southern edge of Carmel. According to filings at Carmel City Hall, the property’s owners want to rezone 30 acres that sit between 96th Street and Interstate 465.

The project would feature nine buildings and four parking garages. Several homeowners in the Lacoma Estates development, just west of the site, have said a real estate company approached them about selling their land for the project. Several said they believed St. Vincent was the health system behind the development.

Asked several times whether St. Vincent was connected to the project, Floyd declined to directly confirm or deny the organization’s involvement, referring to a statement issued Sunday that St. Vincent did not “currently have any details to share about potential projects.”

But in the most recent email, Floyd added: “As we continue to reimagine healthcare, we are not seeking to build new billion-dollar hospitals, but rather focus on a more innovative approach to expand care, such as St. Vincent On Demand (virtual care), the St. Vincent Center (partnership with the Indiana Pacers), new immediate care locations and our St. Vincent Neighborhood Hospital locations.”

Asked to clarify whether that means St. Vincent is not connected to the new Carmel proposal, Floyd did not answer. Jonathan Nalli, CEO of St. Vincent, did not respond to emails or phone calls Monday.

Some neighbors told IBJ on Sunday they were not interested in selling and might fight the project.

In a statement on Monday, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard declined to say whether St. Vincent was connected to the project but promised to listen to residents’ concerns.

“The proposed development is planned on a key piece of real estate located near our interstate highway and Meridian Street Corridor, which places it in a prime location for commercial development," he said in an email issued by City Hall. “Therefore, I wanted to ensure that we would not lose out on revenue for Carmel taxpayers and required that any company or entity planning a project there would pay taxes or make payments in lieu of taxes.”

He added: “In addition, our planning staff and Plan Commission will give this project careful consideration, listening to the concerns of other property owners in the area, as they do for all projects coming through the planning and zoning process in Carmel.”

Linsdey Erdody contributed to this story.

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