The vacant former Baptist Medical Center tower will become 150 senior living apartments in a $40 million plan announced Wednesday by Research Medical Center, a part of HCA Midwest Health.
The nine-story hospital at 6601 Rockhill Road will be redeveloped with a collection of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments by 2018.
The conversion, involving 400,000 square feet of space, will reuse the 53-year-old tower, which is adjacent to the Brookside Medical Office Building. That office facility is nearly 100 percent occupied and houses about 500 workers, most in health-related businesses.
The plan for the empty hospital, which also was known as Baptist-Lutheran Medical Center before closing 10-years-ago, includes continued use of its existing Brookside Health and Fitness Center, which has a swimming pool and exercise facilities. Plans call for the fitness center to continue to be available to the community and the new apartment residents.
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The health campus also houses an emergency room operated by Research that will continue to provide care.
Research said it has teamed with Flint Hills Holdings, which will sign a long-term lease for the tower.
“I don’t know of any other site that has the whole range — independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care in a former hospital building like this,” said Tony Krsnich, chief executive of Flint Hills, which has completed five previous senior living projects.
Krsnich said the building will provide market-rate living options and not be a part of an affordable housing program for seniors.
The project will use existing tax-increment financing for work on the tower and on updates of an adjoining parking lot. SWD Architects is designing the tower adaptations. Rau Construction Co. will be the builder.