Parkview Regional Medical Center campus is growing its footprint at 11109 Parkview Plaza Dr.
If you drive past the Parkview Regional Medical Center (PRMC) campus near the intersection of Dupont and Diebold Roads, you might assume that you are in Fort Wayne.
Technically, the campus is just outside of the city limits in a part of Allen County known as Huntertown. Once home to country roads and open land, the area is now bustling with activity, extending the culture and atmosphere of Fort Wayne into the north suburbs.
Richard Beck, Allen County Commissioner, describes Parkview as an “anchor” in the Dupont-Diebold area. Estimates suggest that between 9,000 and 12,000 people visit the campus every day—a population roughly equivalent to the size of Columbia City.
On top of that, the PRMC campus is still growing. A second medical tower is under construction and set to open its first floors in late-2020.
A new 6-story tower is under construction next to the 7-story current tower.
Here’s how PRMC is evolving the Dupont-Diebold area of Allen County in terms of jobs, housing, business, and amenities.
In some ways, it’s no coincidence that the Dupont-Diebold area around PRMC is thriving.
Even before Parkview opened its campus in March 2012, the Allen County government viewed the area as a place ripe for potential growth, according to Elissa McGauley, Director of Redevelopment for the Allen County Department of Planning Services.
Construction is a common sight around the Dupont-Diebold area.
On the outskirts of Fort Wayne, the area contained a lot available property that could support commercial and retail development. There was a Carmike Cinemas movie theatre there, and a few restaurants and hotels developed around it.
McGauley explains that in 2009 the redevelopment commission had already begun road improvements to Tonkel Road and Mayhew Road. From there, they oversaw updates to Diebold Road with the roundabout.
When the Parkview Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team were choosing a location for the hospital network’s main campus, the Dupont area was a prime candidate. Right off I-69, it was highly visible and could provide efficient and effective access to healthcare. It also provided them with room to grow, says Ben Miles, president of Parkview Regional Medical Center and Affiliates. Ben Miles
“Parkview is responsible to our neighbors—to our community itself,” Miles says. “Healthcare is evolving at such a rapid pace, and we thought this campus would provide us with the best location to not only be responsive to the needs at the time, but really to be adaptive as healthcare would evolve.”
Within the first five months of opening in 2012, the PRMC campus leadership team had already built out their five-year plan for growth, adding more than 881 coworkers since 2012 at the Dupont campus alone.
To accommodate these workers, Parkview has invested $1.2 billion into its campus, which already includes a medical seven-story tower, Miles says. It has also expanded its campus footprint by adding on-site clinics and services for pain management, prenatal care, cardiology, and more.
On top of that, it has built significant construction projects, such as the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation, the Manchester University’s pharmacy school, and the Cancer Institute.
“Parkview’s story is one of growth,” Miles says, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.
Currently, Parkview is constructing a second medical tower at the PRMC campus. At six-stories tall and 168,000 square feet, the new tower will primarily focus on inpatient care. It will add a total of 72 beds and another 100 clinical position to their workforce.
A rendering of the new 6-story PRMC tower set to open its first floors in late-2020.
The new tower was originally expected to open in spring of 2021, and it’s currently ahead of schedule, Miles says. Three floors are expected to open September-December 2020.
When they do, the Dupont-Diebold area is likely to grow even more.
Due to the nature of healthcare, most coworkers at PRMC need to live near to the hospital in case of emergencies. This means that a boom in jobs at PRMC has direct implications for the Dupont-Diebold housing market.
New construction is driving an expansion of north side suburbs.
Since 2000, Miles says that the number of households in the Dupont area surrounding the PRMC campus has grown by 40 percent. Currently, 35,000 to 40,000 residents live within a three-mile radius of the campus, and their median household income is about 30 percent higher than the U.S. average.
This means the population moving into the Dupont area has money to spend on cultural experiences, paving the way for developments like Mocha Lounge, as well as other basic amenities like Kroger and Meijer stores and a Holiday Inn Express east of I-69.
Miles says six new hotels are either proposed or under construction along the Dupont corridor–not to mention restaurants, senior care centers, retail, and more.
Six hotels are in construction or planned for the area around PRMC.
“(PRMC) has really connected our region to the city and has become that destination point for the north part of Fort Wayne,” Miles says.
PRMC’s investment is making formerly suburban parts of Allen County into more urban-suburban communities, too, with the addition of more pedestrian-friendly amenities like trails and bike racks.
But while a housing boom can generate economic benefits and vibrant culture, it also comes with consequences for county infrastructure that needs to accommodate increased traffic.
According to Miles, more than 4,000 vehicles come onto the PRMC campus every day—not to mention the thousands of vehicles that drive past it on Dupont Road or I-69.
Beck says the role of the Allen County commissioners is to partner with businesses and provide them with the tools they need to be successful as they grow. One of the primary ways the county government is supporting businesses like Parkview is by strengthening their road infrastructure.
The completion of the I-69/Union Chapel Road interchange as well as the I-69/Dupont diverging diamond are both efforts to ease traffic congestion in the Dupont area. But Beck knows these projects are just the beginning.
New businesses are opening in the Dupont-Diebold area.
Both Allen County and Parkview have plans for improvements to Dupont Road and Union Chapel Road that will provide better access to the Parkview from downtown Fort Wayne, too.
The idea is to connect two key destinations in northeast Indiana that are on the rise.
“(The Dupont-Diebold area) has gotten a lot of attention from local developers as well as regional developers,” Beck says. “There’s a promise of more activity.”
As a community-owned not-for-profit, Parkview aspires to give back to its regional community—and specifically its Dupont-Diebold neighbors—as it grows. Part of this entails offering residents everything they might need for healthcare in their hometown, Miles says.
When people move to any part northeast Indiana, they often want to know it will have amenities to support their lifestyle—whether its schools for their children, social organizations like churches, or places to hangout like restaurants and coffee shops.
The Dupont-Diebold area offers residents prime land and room to expand.
Miles says Parkview believes immediate access to world-class healthcare can also be a factor in residents’ decisions about where they choose to live, and in the Dupont-Diebold area, there’s no shortage of resources.
For example, Parkview not only has a Ronald McDonald House offering home-away-from-home care for injured children, but also, it has one of the largest in-home Ronald McDonald Houses in the world.
In other words, families who live near Fort Wayne don’t have to travel far to find the care they need, and for Dupont area residents, it’s right in their backyards.This Special Report is made possible by Parkview Health.