Promenade developers to present their vision for IU med school campus

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Promenade developers to present their vision for IU med school campus

EVANSVILLE — Earlier this week, Warrick County officials stepped up to the plate with their vision of where Indiana University’s new medical school and health education campus should be built.

Next at bat is The Promenade.

The Promenade is an undeveloped 215-acre tract on Evansville’s East Side bordered by Burkhardt Road, Oak Grove Road, I-164 and Columbia Street.

Evansville development firm the Martin Group announced Friday afternoon that it and its partners plan to share their vision next week detailing how the planned medical complex would fit into its larger plans for retail, entertainment and housing on the property.

“It is just a great fit with our overall vision of what’s going on over there,” said Martin Group President Steve Martin.

Several years ago, developers announced their plans to build The Promenade, a mixed-use development. The recession put those plans on hold, and the land remains undeveloped.

The Martin Group’s announcement is set for Wednesday morning at company’s office. Martin said the gathering will feature “at least one other announcement” about The Promenade, in addition to the medical center plans.

Warrick County officials made their public pitch Tuesday showcasing a 75-acre undeveloped site north of Indiana 66, between Epworth and Grimm roads.

The project drawing all the interest is what planners are calling an interdisciplinary academic health science education and research campus.

IU currently has a medical campus in Evansville, housed at the University of Southern Indiana, where students can complete their first two years of medical school. IU plans to expand the Evansville campus to a four-year medical school. The new campus will also include a simulation center for training, and a variety of undergraduate and graduate health education programs in partnership with Ivy Tech, USI and the University of Evansville, plus four area hospitals.

The Warrick County and Promenade presentations are happening before the exact specs for the project have been released.

Those details will come out when IU issues a formal request for proposals, or RFP. At that point, interested parties can submit proposals for sites they want the school to consider. IU’s board of trustees is expected to select the site at a meeting early next year.

If the project goes according to schedule, ground for the new campus will be broken in the summer of 2015, and the facility will go into use in 2017.

Those involved with the project generally identify four possible sites: Warrick, The Promenade, Downtown Evansville and USI. In a report issued in February, consulting firm Tripp Umbach identified Downtown Evansville as its preferred location, though local steering committee members indicated a site near Indiana 66 and I-164 was their top choice.

Kindra Strupp, USI’s assistant vice president for marketing and communications, said USI plans to respond to the RFP, but has no current plans to make a public pitch before then.

Ella Johnson-Watson, director of communications for Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke’s office, could not be reached late Friday regarding whether the mayor plans a presentation before the RFP is issued.

But as part of Winnecke’s Traveling City Hall program, IU will have a public presentation next week to provide details about the project. That meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Pine Haven Health and Rehabilitation Center.

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