Bid for controversial health, family center in Broad Ripple Park up for city approval

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A finalist has been identified for a controversial project that could bring a health care clinic and family event center to Broad Ripple Park, with a city commission expected to see—and vote on—the project next week.

A proposal from BR Health Holdings LLC has been chosen for consideration over two other bids by a committee of city officials and other stakeholders.  BR Health Holdings includes Indianapolis-based Avenue Development, which specializes in senior living and medical facilities.

Contacted by IBJ on Friday, Avenue principal Mike Mattingly declined to comment on specifics of the proposal.

Details of the BR Health Holdings project have not yet been made public, and are not expected to be revealed until they are presented to the Metropolitan Development Commission during its pre-meeting session on Wednesday.

Early this year, the city requested proposals for development of a building that would replace an 11,000-square-foot center at the park. City officials hoped to find a private-sector partner to build a combination health care clinic and family event center. Some area residents have objected to the use of park space for businesses.

As part of its regular meeting agenda on Wednesday—beginning immediately after the pre-meeting’s conclusion—the MDC is expected to vote on a resolution to authorize DMD to lease the property to BR Health Holdings and to negotiate an agreement for the project with the developer.

The meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. at the City-County Building, will include a public hearing portion open to supporters and remonstrators of the proposal.

The redevelopment plan for the 4.5-acre parcel where the park center currently stands is part of the Indy Parks Department’s larger vision for Broad Ripple’s largest public space. The vision includes a new outdoor aquatic area, a revamped river walk and updated sports fields throughout the park, expected to cost $70 million over the next 20 years.

The new center proposal has been met with opposition in recent weeks by a group called the Broad Ripple Park Alliance, which among other things disagrees with the public-private development approach being taken for the project.

The project is backed by the Friends of Broad Ripple Park, the Broad Ripple Village Association and Colleen Fanning, the City-County Council member who represents the district.

BR Health Holdings LLC bid beat out proposals by Indianapolis-based Browning Investments and Lauth LLC.

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