City of Columbus and Columbus Regional Health announce development and creation of NexusPark at former mall location

The City of Columbus and Columbus Regional Health are pleased to announce the relaunch of work surrounding the joint venture development of the former Fair Oaks Mall, which will be multi-use health, wellness and recreation campus named NexusPark.

The much-anticipated announcement comes after plans pertaining to both project partners had to be put on hold for the last 15 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to reinvigorate this work and finally begin building an identity surrounding the campus,” said Mayor Jim Lienhoop. By introducing NexusPark, we usher this legacy property in midtown Columbus into its new generation of use and value, not just for our community but the surrounding region.” 

In 2018, CRH and the City of Columbus partnered to purchase the former Fair Oaks Mall facility and property at a 75/25 percent split, with the City retaining majority ownership for parks and recreation and sports tourism development. Both partners placed this project on hold due to the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. Although the work will differ in scope and timelines, both the City and CRH remain committed to the vision to update and improve the site for a facility and campus focused on health, wellness and community.

City of Columbus

The NexusPark site is strategically located to house the Columbus Parks and Recreation headquarters, support economic reinvestment in the area, create a place for complementary community organizations and businesses to flourish and locate an indoor sports fieldhouse in proximity with other Parks amenities. 

Fieldhouse:  In 2017, a need for a new indoor sports complex was identified in the Columbus Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Subsequent meetings during the mall property masterplan process highlighted the public’s desire for a facility which could be used by local residents and also attract sports tourism dollars. 

The City’s development team has talked with over 30 interested stakeholders including local sports teams, secondary and post-secondary schools, club teams, local businesses and organizations to quantify the usage and needs around a pre-engineered indoor sports facility. Team members have also benchmarked other facilities in Indiana and neighboring states. This project has been divided into two current phases. (Please reference the attached document for more information on City project timeline and funding.)

Columbus Regional Health

Earlier this year, the Columbus Regional Health Trustees approved the first phase – a $13 million project – to launch CRH’s portion of the larger partnership project.  CRH’s Phase 1 will renovate approximately 50,000 square feet of the health system’s total 125,000-square-feet allotment. 

“We are excited and enthusiastic about the project with the City of Columbus, with which we’ve held a long, valued partnership,” said CRH President & CEO Jim Bickel. “This project aligns very well with CRH’s growth plans and future space needs, and at the same time furthers a health and wellness facility and campus to benefit the community.”

The work on the healthcare organization portion will involve mostly interior construction to convert space to accommodate both existing services and growth-opportunities in the areas of primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitative therapies and programs. In addition, many CRH physician offices have outgrown or are close to capacity at existing locations.  

The majority of services and programs in this facility will be preventive care or wellness based. The Phase 1 timeline is to relocate some related services or practices into the space by mid-2022 with the completion of Phase 1 by the end 2023. CRH plans to also transition and group sites of care in an effort to streamline operations, share resources and enhance patient and workforce experience.

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