What to do with the old St. Francis

St. Francis Hospital in Beech GroveBeech Grove is working on a redevelopment proposal for its St. Francis Hospital campus. The tentative plans call for a mix of office, senior residential and possibly retail. St. Francis plans to vacate the old hospital in two years when it opens a $200-million expansion of its Indianapolis campus. 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. Targeted uses include senior and assisted living residential, life-science office users and some medical. 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 developer but said it is not a local player. A public meeting on the proposal was held on Oct. 29.

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