Carle Plans New Danville Medical Campus
A proposed new medical campus for Carle in Danville would take up 17 acres on the west end of downtown. Officials with the Urbana-based healthcare provider announced their plans for the new campus on Wednesday, saying the project will be good for their patients and the community as a whole.
The Carle Foundation currently has two facilities in Danville. It has leased a former supermarket at 311 W. Fairchild Street since 2006, and owns a second facility near Lake Vermilion at 2300 N. Vermilion Street. Carle says it would give up the lease on the Fairchild building and put the Vermilion facility up for sale to move into the facility, once it is constructed.
Carle Senior Vice-President for Primary Care & Specialty Care Services Caleb Miller says one of their goals was to create a single medical campus in Danville that would easy for area residents to reach and navigate their way around.
“We also wanted to get into the heart of the town and help the city of Danville, to bring a new service to that area that is part of us,” said Miller. “We want to be a good neighbor to the people down there.”
Miller says the new location will also give patients a view of the adjacent Ellsworth Park, with the Vermilion River flowing through it.
“The location near Ellsworth Park will help us with the some of the external features we want to have for the building”, said Miller.
The proposed site for the medical campus is bordered by South Gilbert Street (also Illinois Route 1 & US Route 136), West Madison Street, North Logan Avenue and West North Street. The site is about a mile and a half away from the Gilbert Street interchange with I-74.
The seven-block area includes commercial buildings and residential sites (both rental and owner-occupied) and vacant lots. Miller says Carle is “well into” the process of negotiating the acquisition of the properties. The Vermilion County Land Bank is providing assistance. One property on the site that will not be built on is the Vermilion County Museum. Carle officials say the museum will remain open and be incorporated into the medical campus’ design.
Carle worked with Danville city officials and the economic development group Vermilion Advantage in its search for the new location. Vermilion Advantage President & CEO Vicki Haugen says Carle first approached them about finding a site in October, 2017. Working from their criteria, she says her group came up with five potential locations for a new medical campus, which was ultimately pared down to the one announced by Carle on Wednesday.
Carle says Carle’s current Danville facilities employ around 200 people, and bring in 45,000 patient-visits a year. She says the new medical campus would bring those jobs and patients to a location in the city that will provide an economic boost to the nearby downtown area.
“You bring that kind of traffic within a block and a half of the immediate downtown, whether it’s restaurants or other services, it’s certainly going to change the complexion of demand and opportunity for the immediate downtown,” said Haugen.
Haugen says the new Carle medical campus will make a strong impression on visitors who enter Danville through the Gilbert Street interchange, helping to fulfill a longstanding desire in the community for an upgrade to one of its major entry corridors.
“We know it’s a high traffic generation area, and to have that kind of new high tech, medical professional campus welcoming those that come into the community is terrific,” said Haugen.
Plans for the new Danville medical campus are contingent on Carle’s ability to acquire all the property it’s seeking, get zoning clearances from the city, and a Certificate of Need from state healthcare regulatory authorities. Carle will also need to hire architects to design the medical campus and the multi-story building that is planned as its main feature. Miller says it will be a few months before they have a schedule in place for building the medical campus. But he says Carle hopes to have the project completed by the end of 2021.