Plans for expansion at Memorial Hospital

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:50 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend’s largest employer has plans to get even larger.

Memorial Hospital wants to put 588-additional people on the payroll after adding a new patient tower at an estimated cost of $240 million.

The project would add more than 200,000 additional square feet to the building—enough to meet community demand for decades.

The hospital expects the proposed expansion would maintain health care services that might otherwise require patient trips to Chicago or Grand Rapids.

“Obviously, Memorial is an anchor institution downtown: a really critical employer, important investment downtown, and so as we’re vetting READI proposals, they have a pretty exciting one,” said Jeff Rea with the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce.

An outline of the hospital tower project is included in a ‘proposal for funding’ on file with the State of Indiana in connection with the READI grant program.

READI could provide up to $50 million in grant money to north central Indiana to help advance projects that would be transformational.

According to the request for funding proposal, a second project envisions spending $60-million to build a new Beacon Health and Wellness facility at the southern edge of the hospital campus.

That development would also include a four-story building with 145-apartments, that would have office and retail space. The development further calls for a hotel with 125-rooms.

“You know, this is really early in the process. I think the region had to demonstrate the types of projects that READI could help catalyze If we were to get those funds,” cautioned Jeff Rea. “If you remember the formula is 60- percent private developer, 20-percent city, 20 -percent state for a project to move forward.

The patient tower project alone would be enough to deplete a $50 million grant award.

“You know, as a region we had $200 million of projects for what we think is going to be $50 million, a $50-million-dollar award so, obviously won’t be able to award everybody that needed those dollars, so will they do a partial award? Will the READI award help us advance something in particular? I think that’s the stuff that will get weighed out early in 2022,” said Rea.

Memorial Hospital issued the following written statement:

Memorial Hospital has established the need for a new patient tower on its downtown South Bend campus. After two years of discussions and extensive evaluations, Memorial has begun the planning process for the tower. Discussions have surrounded the age of our facilities and anticipated changes in the way healthcare will be delivered in the future. This proposed project, submitted as part of an application for READI program funding, has not yet been finalized.

Proposed development south of Memorial Hospital campus in partnership with Great Lakes Capital, Bradley Company and the City of South Bend, this proposed project would create additional downtown residential options and a new health and fitness center located south of the Memorial Hospital. It would also help address parking challenges on the Memorial campus. This is still a preliminary concept for Beacon and its project partners, who have not yet finalized the financial aspects of or timing for this proposal.

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