$175M medical campus project planned for Elkhart

ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) NewsCenter 16 has learned of a $175 million economic development project in the works in Elkhart.

The so-called “Med-Ed” project calls for the construction of several buildings on a 110 acre site at County Road 17 and the U.S. 20 Bypass.

Officials aren’t yet at liberty to discuss the nature of all the businesses, but say most will be closely tied to the medical field.

“There are so many different components to the medical campus that are there that the investment does add up, up pretty fast,” said Mark Dobson, Executive Director of the Elkhart County Economic Development Corporation. “There is urgent care anticipated, there are the traumatic brain injury site there are other standalone medical operations that at the end of the day add up to a really large number.”

Dobson says there will also be some commercial properties that tend to compliment a medical mission.

He adds that the vast majority of the development will be “new to the marketplace,” rather than an entity that’s already established in the local community and moving from one space to another.

The project speaks directly to Elkhart County’s goal of diversifying the economy, where more than 50 percent of the jobs are in manufacturing and over 50 percent of those are tied to the RV Industry. “As we always say dance with the one that brung you to the prom we love our RV Industry folks, they're fantastic. They’re what makes us so unique, but we do want that level of diversity so that we're not entirely reliant on them” Dobson said.

It’s hoped the first groundbreaking will take place sometime this June.

On Tuesday afternoon, Elkhart’s Redevelopment Commission will hold a special meeting to consider creating a Tax Incremental Financing District on the site of the planned medical campus.

A city planning document for the area speaks of a desire to "provide incentives that will support the installation of a medical facility center with cancer treatment faciliites, college level medical professional courses such as dental and nursing assistants, rehab centers, patient housing, pharmacies, medical offices and related services."