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Parking spots, tunnels and robots: IU Health unveils plans for new parking and support facility

South Support Building and new hospital (aerial view).jpg
IU Health new hospital rendering day
Posted at 12:28 PM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 12:28:55-05

INDIANAPOLIS — IU Health on Tuesday unveiled plans for a huge parking facility and loading dock that will use robotic vehicles to load supplies into the new $1.6 billion downtown hospital.

According to plans filed recently with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission, IU Health is planning a "support building" with five- to eight-levels of parking, a loading dock and office and retail space on its campus near 16th Street and Capital Avenue.

"The building, occupying nearly a full block, will provide critical support needs for the adjacent new hospital and is designed to be compatible with the look of the hospital and other campus structures," IU Health said in a news release.

South Support Building from Capitol (with skywalk to new hospital).jpg
IU Health plans to build a new parking lot and retail building next to its new downtown hospital.

The support building has a brick-and-granite base with glass storefronts housing up to 13,000-square feet of retail space fronting Capitol Avenue. A perforated metal facade covers upper garage levels that house parking spots for 1,600 to 2,700 vehicles.

The campus will be pedestrian-friendly with sidewalks and native plants. A pedestrian bridge will connect the support building to the hospital.

Automated vehicles will ferry supplies from the loading dock to the hospital via a hidden utility tunnel. Those driverless, robotic vehicles will be "largely unseen by patients and visitors," according to the news release.

IU Health also unveiled plans for a new Central Utility Plant, that will house an energy-efficient power plant, chillers, boilers, heat-recovery coolers, steam for sterilization and fire protection water, along with backup power generators.

"The support building and utility plant are essential support elements for the new downtown hospital and expanded medical campus," James Mladucky, vice president of design and construction for IU Health, said in a statement. "Designed to mesh aesthetically with the evolving campus, the buildings will provide the critical logistics and energy requirements to support IU Health’s unique healthcare mission and ensure the efficient operation of a leading-edge academic health center that will serve future generations of Hoosiers."

The $1.6 billion project will expand the hospital's 16th Street campus by 44 acres. It is scheduled to be completed by 2026.

IU Health new hospital rendering day
IU Health shared designed plans for a new hospital in Downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, March 24, 2022.

PREVIOUS: IU Health outlines plans for $1.6B expansion in Downtown Indianapolis

Project updates can be found on IU Health's website.

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on Twitter: @vicryc.