First phase demolition for Hopewell: Bloomington picks Renascent for $589K job

By the end of summer, all but three of the buildings on a central Bloomington block, near the former IU Health hospital site, are set to be demolished.

It’s the area that has been named the Hopewell neighborhood.

On Tuesday evening, Bloomington’s board of public works, as well as the city’s redevelopment commission (RDC), approved the $588,755 contract with Indianapolis-based Renascent, Inc. for the demolition work.

It’s a separate demolition project from the one already underway on the west end of the former IU Health hospital site. IU Health has to demolish all the structures on the main site, except for the parking garage and the Kohr administration building, before transferring ownership to the city of Bloomington.

It’s part of a $6.5-million real estate deal. In early December last year,  IU Health moved to its new facility on the east side of town, on the SR 45/46 bypass.

The focus of the demolition work approved on Tuesday is Phase 1 East in the city’s master plan for redevelopment of the former hospital site.  It’s the block bounded by 1st and 2nd streets on the north and south, and Morton and Rogers on the east and west. The demolition contract approved on Tuesday involves property already under the city’s control.

The demolition work is expected to begin in July, according to Matt Smethurst, a project manager in the city’s engineering department. Under the contract, Renascent has to complete the work within 60 days of receiving a notice to proceed.

Renascent was the lowest “responsible and responsive” bid of the five bids received by the city for the demolition work. Two lower bids were received, but one was only for the tree removal portion of the contract, and the other did not complete all the documentation required by the city.

Renascent is the same company that IU Health is using to demolish the structures on the main hospital site.

Smethurst told RDC members that just three buildings would remain on the block after demolition work is complete: Centerstone’s building on Rogers Street; the brick apartment building at the corner of 1st and Rogers streets; and the St. John Associates building at the corner of 1st and Morton streets.

In addition to the demolition work, RDC members approved another key step in the redevelopment of the Phase 1 East site—approval to put a re-platting of the block in front of the plan commission. It’s a step the RDC had already taken, in early January. The city’s plan commission had then signed off on the re-platting, which included the vacation of two alleys.

But Bloomington’s city council balked at vacating the alleys, because there were no alleys added to compensate—to provide connectivity and to help prevent larger-footprint buildings from being constructed on the block.

That led to a concession from the city’s administration—an assurance to the council that the block would be re-platted, with some additional east-west alleys and eventually some north-south pedestrian connections. In early June, with that assurance in hand, the council approved the alley vacations.

What the RDC approved at its Tuesday meeting was the submission of the block’s proposed revised new plat, with additional alleys, to the plan commission for review. So the proposed new plat will show up on an upcoming Bloomington plan commission meeting agenda.

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