INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The old St. Francis hospital building and campus in Beech Grove is about to undergo a $20 million transformation.
Local entrepreneur Joe Wolfla unveiled his plan Thursday to turn the abandoned 14-acre site into "Franciscan Place," a "city within a city" for seniors.
He said Franciscan Place, purchased for $10, will be home to more than 150 apartments, an immediate care facility, educational center, barber and beauty shop, pharmacy drop-off, restaurant, and shops - all within walking distance of city parks and downtown shopping.
"There's definitely a need for it in Beech Grove," said Wolfla.
Mayor Dennis Buckley called it a shot in the arm.
"For the area around the facility, it will be good because we can do some economic revitalization, work on infrastructure, and just make it better for the whole area of the city. So we're looking forward to it," said Buckley.
Wolfla also explained a personal connection to the site.
"I'm Catholic. And I didn't want it to be torn down and a lot of us have been born here."
Wolfla himself was born there and said he plans to return and call it home when the building is ready.
"It was just so nice to be able to save it."
Renovations are expected to start in the next few months. Thursday's announcement was the second in a month for Beech Grove.
Buckley said ADM Milling, a large business in town, plans to expand and build a new $30-million mill on Bethel Avenue.
Fire crews in Anderson were on the scene of a building fire Thursday afternoon.
An Anderson apartment complex will be demolished after a fire broke out at the building Thursday.
A Boston-based company is pushing ahead with a $12 million project to retrofit and reactivate a long-idle hydroelectric power plant in southern Indiana.