IU Health reevaluating scope of $2.68B downtown hospital campus

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

Indiana University Health is reevaluating the “scope, cost and timing” of its massive downtown medical campus, a $2.68 billion project that has been in the works for seven years.

The Indianapolis-based hospital system said in financial filing Thursday that the review comes in light of higher-than expected patient demand during the pandemic, inflation and sustainability goals.

It was unclear whether IU Health might expand or scale back the huge project as a result of the reevaluation. The language in the filing is vague, and an IU Health spokesman declined to elaborate.

“As you know we can’t divulge financial info to media (without) having told bondholders about it,” spokesman Jeff Swiatek wrote in an email to IBJ.

The review comes two years after IU Health unveiled a dramatic design for the downtown campus in 2020, a project that was first announced in 2015.

The design would expand its footprint by eight blocks and build a new hospital just south of its century-old Methodist Hospital.

The proposed hospital, with about 2 million square feet under roof, is planned to rise 12 stories and feature three patient towers. The new hospital would consolidate much of the existing Methodist Hospital and University Hospital, which is about 1.5 miles southwest on the IUPUI campus.

University Hospital will be given to Indiana University, which has yet to announce what it will do with it. The campus also will house classrooms of the IU School of Medicine, which will move from their current location on the IUPUI campus.

The IU Health board of trustees already has approved $1.6 billion for the construction of the expanded medical campus and hospital consolidation, and another $1.08 billion for additional investments to its downtown Indianapolis campus and its neighboring property holdings.

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

It has also begun building a five-story office building, called Capitol View, on the site that will have clinics and medical offices. On Thursday, employees signed a steel beam that will be hoisted atop Capitol View for a topping out ceremony on Aug. 8.

“The hospital site is a massive pit and we have details on what the exterior detail will look like and the landscaping and public areas,” Swiatek wrote in an email to IBJ.

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