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Plan commission approves first phase of new Crown Point hospital; work set to begin next month
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Plan commission approves first phase of new Crown Point hospital; work set to begin next month

Developer wows commission with preliminary plans for new Franciscan Health hospital in Crown Point

A rendering of the new Franciscan Health hospital planned for Crown Point is shown.

CROWN POINT — Site work for a new $200 million hospital coming to the city is slated to begin in mid-September. 

During a Plan Commission meeting Monday, developers for the project discussed the first phase of plans for a new Franciscan Health hospital in Crown Point, at the southeast corner of Interstate 65 and U.S. 231. 

While a building elevation has yet to be released for the project, the hospital will be modeled after Franciscan Health hospital in Michigan City, which opened along Interstate 94 in 2019.

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The first phase of the project focuses on service infrastructure for the development, including a ring road and a drainage system for the site, said Jeff Ban, president of DVG. 

Ban said drawings submitted to the city included plans for mass grading at the site, stormwater management, storm sewers and landscaping details. 

Glen Eriksson, president of Eriksson Engineering Associates, said developers are currently focusing on the private roads and the perimeter bike path within the development.

Plans to connect to U.S. 231 will proceed after the Indiana Department of Transportation confirms the firm is using the correct data for its traffic study. 

"We do know that the location, as we had shown previously, the intention is to go with a roundabout at that entrance when the boulevard extends to the northeast," Eriksson said. 

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Eriksson said the first phase of the project is "totally limited to the perimeter stormwater management system."

"First thing that's going to be taking place on the site is going to be mass grading, and we've got a lot of dark dirt to be moving in preparation for constructing a hospital," he said. "The architect is still working on the building plans, but we do have a good handle on the size of the basement and it's quite a big basement going into this facility."

The first phase of the project also includes some landscaping for the pond in the southwest corner of the site, including cobblestone and some blue grass. 

Longer, denser grass will be placed in several areas around the pond, Eriksson added. 

"There's going to be naturalized areas around the pond with different types of wetland vegetation," he said. "The intention is to get the main area of the pond and the berms landscaped, or planted, as soon as possible to give this material a chance to start growing." 

The first phase of the plan doesn't include any landscaping on the berms. A gravel walking path around the pond also is being considered for the project. 

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Kent Davidson, senior project manager with HOK in Chicago, said the project is expected to appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a height variance in September. 

Davidson said it is likely the project won't appear before the Plan Commission prior to its December meeting. 

"We are still very early on in the design process for the building," Davidson said. 

The Plan Commission approved the first phase of the project unanimously. 

Also Monday, the Plan Commission approved a three-unit commercial office building at 698 E. 125th Ave.; a multi-tenant commercial building at 790 N. Superior Drive and 10720 Broadway; and an Omega Steel office/warehouse building at 10924 Delaware Parkway.

Gallery: How do NWI school reentry plans compare?

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South Lake County Reporter

Mary Freda is the South Lake County reporter at The Times. She is a proud Ball State graduate, where she studied news journalism and Spanish. You can reach Mary at mary.freda@nwi.com or 219-853-2563.

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