GREENFIELD — After a major development in Mt. Comfort and one coming to New Palestine, Hancock Health has yet another planned for Greenfield.

The health care provider, land-locked on its current campus, plans to develop a second campus along State Street near New Road. Sparked by advice to consolidate the hospital’s satellite locations across the city into one spot near the interstate, the endeavor is slated to take place over the next decade and is expected to cost more than $30 million.

Hancock Health enlisted the services of Navigant Consulting Inc. a few years ago, which provided guidance on the hospital’s westward expansions and the upcoming Greenfield project.

“This has everything to do with the growth of Hancock County overall and the fact that we have used all of the space on our main campus,” Hancock Health president and CEO Steve Long said.

The consulting firm recommended a consolidation in Greenfield off State Street near I-70, as there was no room to do so at the Hancock Regional Hospital site at 801 N. State St.

“We spent the last couple years trying to figure out where in the world you would do that,” Long said. “…Greenfield is growing, and it is hard to find property out there that would have enough size for us to actually consolidate. So we looked and looked and looked and we finally got the ability to put a couple parcels together that could meet our needs.”

Those parcels total about seven acres off State Street between West Muskegon Drive and New Road. They are among the last undeveloped properties in that part of Greenfield, and they are attractive because they front State Street. The parcels are currently owned by Greenfield Banking Co. and Brandywine Associates.

“It’s in really an ideal spot for especially the retail pieces of what we do,” Long said.

The endeavor consists of two phases, with one building for each. Long said the first building will be around 10,000 square feet and consolidate Hancock Health’s Immediate Care, currently located at 124 W. Muskegon Drive; and Home Medical Equipment, currently located at 1117 N. State St.

While it wouldn’t be a far move for Immediate Care, Long said the frontage it would get off State Street would make the transfer worthwhile.

Rick Edwards, Hancock Health vice president and chief financial officer, said the hospital will start studying the first phase in 2022 and hopes for construction to start in 2023.

The second phase will move Hancock Health’s Wellness Center, currently located at 888 W. New Road, into a building with physician practices that are currently located at 120 W. McKenzie Road. That property would be similar to what the hospital is planning in New Palestine at U.S. 52 and County Road 600W.

Edwards recalled how the wellness center was recently renovated and that when it needs work again in the coming years, hospital officials will have to determine if and when it would be an appropriate time to move it into a new space.

“We’ve pretty much outgrown the Greenfield wellness center, so this will be a good enhancement for things down the road,” Edwards said.

Long and Edwards said the second phase won’t start for another seven to 10 years.

“There’s a pretty long timeline to this,” Long said. “We wrapped up the land now because the land is increasingly hard to find.”

Edwards expects the endeavor to exceed $30 million. He and Long said it will be funded out of Hancock Health’s savings.

“This hospital has a long history of using money judiciously,” Long said. “It has created the ability to do much of what we’re doing out of reserves… We’re very fortunate to have had exceptional financial management over the last 30 years.”

The Indiana Department of Transportation is planning a median that will split State Street and block access for northbound traffic to Hancock Health’s future site.

“Because of that, it is incredibly important to have access off those cross streets and then the roads behind,” Long said, referring to Muskegon Drive, Fields Boulevard and New Road. Fields Boulevard fronts the properties on their western boundary.

Long added that access will include a street much like Melody Lane, which runs parallel to State Street to the east as an access route to businesses up and down that side of State Street.

At a Greenfield Redevelopment Commission meeting in October, Edwards talked about that access and what Hancock Health’s presence will mean for an area that’s already one of the busiest in the city.

“We believe that this not only solves an issue for Hancock Health, but it also solves an issue for the city and for the bank and creates a great environment for us to provide a health campus,” Edwards said.

Jason Koch, Greenfield city engineer, said at the redevelopment commission meeting that the city supports the hospital’s plans.

“We think it’s a great project, a great investment,” Koch said, adding he expects streets the city plans to add to that area will “be a great addition to Greenfield and make that traffic flow that much better.”
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