New Health Centers Slated for Fishers, Ind.

Dec. 6--FISHERS, Ind. -- The state's three largest health-care systems are taking aim at Exit 10 of I-69 -- a booming area of Fishers and Noblesville already poised to sprout a new shopping mall.

Clarian Health Partners and St. Vincent Health both expect to file development plans for their buildings early next year. A Fishers working group is studying the costs of connecting the medical buildings to Hamilton Southeastern sewer utilities.

The Fishers Town Council is considering a $25 million bond issue to help build utilities and infrastructure south of Exit 10. Construction will continue through the winter on Hamilton Town Center and several office and industrial buildings in Saxony to open in 2007 and 2008.

On the south side of the interchange, Clarian Health Partners will announce today that it has purchased 95 acres within the 750-acre Saxony development of homes and businesses.

Instead of a struggling and once-bankrupt strip mall, Clarian sees the highly visible site along the interstate as the future home of a medical campus with sports medicine and many other specialties. A full hospital is possible in the future.

"This project will help distinguish Clarian and Fishers as a national model for New Urbanism with fully integrated, community-based health programs," Clarian President and Chief Executive Daniel F. Evans Jr. said.

On Tuesday, competitor St. Vincent Health confirmed its purchase of 25 acres on the Fishers side of Exit 10, with plans for an emergency room and related medical services. Two buildings for physicians' offices also are planned.

That deal means Clarian and St. Vincent will be across the street from each other in the potentially patient-rich I-69 corridor.

Nearby along Olio Road in Fishers, Community Health was first to plant a flag in Saxony with a medical office building that opened in the past year.

On the other side of the interchange -- known by many music lovers as the Verizon Wireless Music Center exit -- construction started recently on Simon Property Group's Hamilton Town Center, an outdoor shopping mall of nearly a million square feet that will include an IMAX theater and other attractions.

And construction has started on the first three office and industrial buildings in Saxony, north of the interchange.

Saxony has been unfolding since 2000 as a 750-acre project by Ohio-based Republic Development. Company President Rick Arnos said Tuesday that the vision for a million square feet of retail space and 3.5 million square feet of office and industrial space "has morphed a little into medical and wellness."

"Attracting the three largest health-care providers says this interchange is well-located," he said.

The city of Noblesville helped spur growth with new roads and other infrastructure improvements on the north side of Exit 10.

Now, the Fishers Town Council is ready to feed the growth to the south side.

Fishers town leaders are considering the sale of a $25 million bond issue to build utilities and other infrastructure that will help the medical centers and other businesses in Saxony and near the interchange.

That plan was disclosed in a council work session Monday night with attorneys from the Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman law firm and real estate developers Bremner Healthcare Real Estate -- two firms working on the St. Vincent property.

Property taxes from the new developments would repay the bonds.

While other cities frequently use such special taxing districts to promote development, fast-growing Fishers has only done it once. A $9 million bond was sold by the town Monday to help the developer of the 131st Street Fishers Marketplace, which will boast an outdoor mall, an indoor water park, a resort hotel and possibly a conference or sports center.

"This would be only the second time for (a bond and special tax district) in Fishers, so we have very high standards" to get the town's financial help, said Council President Scott Faultless.

Clarian plans to develop the 95 acres in phases -- initially bringing a fitness center, sports medicine service, sleep center, occupational medicine services, urgent care and imaging center, plus other outpatient care and doctors' offices.

Longer term, Clarian's plans incorporate wellness and healthy lifestyle features that mirror the themes of Saxony. There will be jogging trails, a lake and gardens.

The St. Vincent site of 25 acres along the interstate is just outside Saxony but within sight of Clarian.

St. Vincent executives said they were lured to Exit 10 for many of the same reasons -- the booming population of families and active older adults and the nearby retail, office and industrial development.

Vincent C. Caponi, chief executive of St. Vincent Health, said it won't be awkward to be next door to a competitor.

"We don't let competitors determine what's best for St. Vincent or our patients. From our perspective, St. Vincent has been in Hamilton County with our Carmel hospital and other services for many years," he said.

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