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.
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.