Grocery store, other retail likely to come to IU Health’s expanded Methodist Hospital campus

The proposed Methodist campus will extend south about eight blocks from the current hospital. (Rendering courtesy of IU Health)

Indiana University Health plans to turn its massive, expanded campus near Methodist Hospital into a destination site and service area for the neighborhood.

It hopes to do that by offering retail stores, likely including a grocery store, on the ground floor of one of the medical buildings on the site, located on the east side of Capitol Avenue, just south of 16th Street.

“As you know, a lot of times hospitals can be very insular and try to keep people out,” Jim Mladucky, IU Health’s vice president of design and construction, told IBJ. “And what we’re working hard to do is have the first floor be pretty porous, open and inviting.”

He said the hospital system is in conversations with several grocery chains that are “very interested” in opening a store on the campus. He declined to name them or say which one was likely to be chosen.

The hospital system has hired a retail consultant to evaluate the market and recommend what kind of stores and shops to bring in, he added.

“We’re talking with grocers about urban grocery concepts,” Mladucky said. “So it’s not necessarily a boutique, but it’s not necessarily a huge supermarket either. It’s something in between.”

The hospital campus sits several miles from the nearest grocery store. Kroger has locations about 1.5 miles to the south, 1 mile to the east and one 3 miles to the west. There are also several food marts and bodegas within a mile or so.

The neighborhood surrounding the Methodist Hospital campus could use more healthy food options, Mladucky said. The people in the area just north have an average age expectancy of 68 years, compared to 92 years in Carmel.

“We want to be the destination for health in the hospital,” he said. “But then the things that also come from it, like a grocery store that the neighborhood really needs, means we’re truly trying to affect the health of our community in a very positive way. And we’re partnering to do that.”

The grocery store—if and when one is chosen—would be located on the first floor of Capitol View, a five-story office building with a view of Capitol Avenue that will have clinics and medical offices. Construction of that building is set to begin this fall.

The $1.6 billion hospital, with about 2 million square feet under roof, will soar 12 stories and will feature three patient towers.

The new hospital will consolidate much of the existing Methodist Hospital and University Hospital, which is located about 1.5 miles southwest on the IUPUI campus.

Two of the oldest buildings at Methodist Hospital, known as Buildings B and C, located along Capitol Avenue near 16th Street, will likely be demolished, Mladucky said.

University Hospital will be given to Indiana University, which has yet to announce what it will do with it.

A newer building, known as Building A-East, a patient tower that opened in 1995, will stay in place. Officials are still determining the fate of Building A-West to see if it can continue.

IU Health has begun to demolish several buildings on the 44-acre expanded campus that will house the new hospital and supporting buildings

“The goal here is to have a positive patient experience and to make sure that the guests and visitors have a similar experience,” he said, “invite the neighbors in and use it as a recruiting tool.”

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11 thoughts on “Grocery store, other retail likely to come to IU Health’s expanded Methodist Hospital campus

    1. Rhea, along with the mono-rail. IU Health knows how to build, just not utilize. Interesting how they can waste so many dollars with minimal push back.

    2. I am assuming that the Simon Cancer Center is going to Indiana University/IUPUI along with University Hospital, so it’s not being “abandoned.”

    3. Yes Robert it is being abandoned by IU health. It is a relatively new hospital. What do you think Indiana University is going to do with an empty hospital building? That is my definition of being abandoned.

    4. They have years to figure it out. My guess it that it will turn into research space, which would consistent with where the master plans for IUPUI’s and IU SoM want research space.

      IU’s research activity in Indianapolis is much greater than that of IU Bloomington – it should easily be able to fill the space and further expand their research activity.

  1. For many years, there has been an office building in the works by private developer Fire H2O LLC. at the southeast corner of Capitol and 16th. This project was supposed to have a grocery store on the first floor, but earlier this year, when they sought out a zoning variance for the first time, the grocery component had been nixed. I’d bet IU Health had their hands in that.

    https://www.ibj.com/articles/67735-large-office-building-grocery-store-proposed-for-16th-and-capitol

  2. If community health is the true goal here, the new Methodist Hospital site is not well positioned to serve the food desert to the north with noted low life expectancy. Neighborhoods in need of a grocery store are centered closer to 38th and Capitol than 16th and Capitol.

    Among IUH land holdings, a grocery store at the north end of old Methodist along 21st would be better positioned to serve neighborhoods to the north. The former Ruth Lilly Health Education Center on the SW corner of 21st and Capitol is within a 1/4 mile of the Red Line station at 22nd/Meridian and has abundant vehicular access.

    1. Amazingly enough, all of those locations you mentioned are just a few blocks from the Red Line.

  3. My read on this is that the last thing that a new facility will want to do is cater to those who have less $$ that live in the area as opposed to those who have more who only work in the area; I mean, when is the carwash coming? This city should regret the closing of the old “Double 8” grocery stores that served the core city well; with everyone else seeming to be able to get tax credits, one wonders why they couldn’t have been preserved or at least helped to stay open by the city. Now, huge areas are food deserts. It seems like the incentives lie within building new buildings and moving on in this city.

  4. Considering the current focus on public health and well-being, an additional beneficial possibility would be to dedicate for a Park the approximately one-acre of open ground which is owned by IUH and is situated immediately adjacent to (east of) the Indy Parks playground at Senate and St. Clair (SW corner). This land is in turfgrass and is used extensively by the public. Hopefully, IUH is not planning to put another office building there. It would significantly dimnish the appeal and utility of the area. In so doing, IUH could also compensatorially mitigate the public land grab in Broad Ripple Park by Community Health Network.

  5. From a medical point of view it seems to be poor judgement to have a grocery store for a population of poorly vaccinated people in the area to be in a hospital building where sick and even immunecompromised people are receiving their medical care. If they want to serve the area with grocery availability lets put in a separate building close by, or across the street but not in the building where sick people are cared for.

    Dr. B

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