The development director of Greenfield-based Hancock Health envisions the Mount Comfort Corridor in the western part of the county will become a regional destination for medical services, retail and restaurant options. Hancock Health owns approximately 200 acres of real estate north of Interstate 70, near the Mt. Comfort Road exit. Former Hancock Health Chief Operating Office Rob Matt says the Hancock Gateway Park is a cutting-edge development that extends beyond medical facilities.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Matt explained why the health system is embracing development efforts beyond healthcare.
“We serve Hancock County. We live in Hancock County. And Hancock County needs us to lead the way in all things, from development to health care to growth,” said Matt. “Yes, the hospital will have a place to grow, as well as the community and the county.”
The development is centrally located between the east side of Indianapolis, McCordsville, New Palestine and Greenfield. Those areas are experiencing growth and development, such as the new Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) Fulfillment Center and the Walmart (NYSE: WMT) Distribution Center.
Matt says the health system conducted a strategic plan in 2018 that revealed the Mt. Comfort Corridor was poised for significant economic growth.
“Then we said, ‘we’re sitting on 140 [now 200] acres. Let’s develop something for Hancock County that Hancock County does not have. We began to set our sights on a world class, never-before-seen-in- Hancock County development. And that’s where we’re headed today,” said Matt.
The first building to open on the campus in 2019 was a medical lab and imaging center. But Matt says additional development is set to break ground in early 2022.
“We have a 14-acre aging in place (senior living) campus that will be coming out of the ground in February. We have an internationally famous coffee company, who will be building a location all in the park as well. We have about four or five other projects in the pipeline development projects, all the way from retail, commercial medical office, to multifamily housing, on the 200 acres as well,” said Matt.
The Gateway development is projected to have an assessed value of more than $300 million. In construction work alone, the project is expected to have an economic impact of $158 million and bring nearly 1,500 construction jobs to the area.
“The Gateway development is at the most strategically important intersection in our county and… we are poised to make a difference for county residents for generations to come,” said Hancock Health President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Long, who adds he is, is “enthusiastic about the future of our county and the role our organization is playing to make it the very best place in Indiana to live, work, play, and pray.”
While the plan offers a wide range of potential development beyond healthcare, Matt says a new hospital for that area of the county is definitely a possibility, but no timeline was given.
“If you look at all the other counties that surround Marion County, they all have two hospitals in them. So as the growth continues to happen in Hancock County, there’s an expectation that there will be a second hospital and frankly, Hancock Health intends to be that second hospital,” said Matt. “This ground will allow for that to happen, and the other medical components associated with that.”
Matt explained to Inside INdiana Business the vision driving the development project.