An early-stage rendering of the proposed Broad Ripple Park Family Center. (Rendering courtesy of Context Design)
Developer BR Health Holdings LLC plans to break ground Wednesday on a long-planned family health and community center at Broad Ripple Park, after completing negotiations with tenant Indy Parks last December.
The 40,000-square-foot facility will replace an aging, smaller building that crews began demolishing Monday. BR Health—a partnership between Community Health Network and Indianapolis-based Avenue Development—is expected to own the property, which will include recreational space and a health clinic.
Indy Parks is expected to lease at least 25,000 square feet in the building for 30 years. The lease agreement includes a clause that would allow the city to buy the building outright at the end of each lease year—with a price escalator, dependent on the year—while maintaining ownership of the land.
A news conference and ceremonial groundbreaking for the $20 million development is expected to start around 10 a.m. Wednesday, with various city and Community Health officials on hand for the event.
The community center project is part of a $70 million master renovation plan for the park approved in 2018 that called for the replacement of the existing, 11,000-square-foot facility that Indy Parks officials have argued is too small to meet the growing demand for space.
In addition to health care uses, the two-level facility is also expected to house a gymnasium, group meeting space, a children’s play area, a two- or three-lane track, administrative areas, and a multipurpose room. Initial designs for the project were revealed in November 2019.
The plans have been repeatedly challenged by a small group of people within the Broad Ripple community, many of whom claim there is no need for such a facility, and that a public-private partnership is not appropriate.
Three property owners near the park also filed a lawsuit—which was later dismissed—to try and stop the building from being constructed. Those complainants said the new facility would cause “immediate and irreparable loss of [their] property values and their use and enjoyment of their homes.”