Downtown Evansville Chosen for IU Medical School


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The trustees of Indiana University have voted unanimously to enter negotiations to establish a medical school campus in downtown Evansville.

The City of Evansville as part of its bid for downtown offered IU a $35 Million incentive to place the facility in downtown Evansville, making the downtown bid the least expensive option for IU.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke who vowed to “fight like the dickens” for downtown Evansville, indeed did find a way to craft a proposal that was deemed to be the most favorable by the trustees.

The net cost to IU for this $69 Million project will be reduced to $34 Million after the $35 Million incentive is taken into account. This projects financing mirrors the $34 Million of incentives offered to HCW to construct a $71 Million hotel, apartment, and parking structure complex adjacent to the new medical school.

This is a developing story.


  1. What is the total cost to local taxpayers, and will the IU Med School be paying property taxes?

    Does the $35.M going to IU include the price of purchasing the needed downtown real estate? If not, what is the estimated cost for the purchase, demolition, and site prep of the needed properties?

    • Institutions of education do not pay property taxes in Indiana. The private foundation for IU does pay property taxes on property it owns. It will be interesting to see the structure of the real estate deal. I suspect that it may be a lease to own deal where at the end of the financing the property could be bought by the foundation.

    • I was under the impression that a project of this size, that is said in today’s newspaper to cost $70. million in local taxpayer dollars, requires a local referendum.

      Has that law changed again?

    • After the local in crowd gets over the partying, back slapping, euphoric high they are currently on, and the more serious minded crowd starts crunching the numbers, it will very quickly be shown that the math does not add up, and there will be no economic benefit to local taxpayers, only another very large multimillion dollar municipal bond to be payed off by the current taxpayers and their grandchildren. That is of course if one believes that Evansville can actually gain approval for such bonding in the first place.

      Since we really do not know exactly what the financial condition of the city of Evansville is, owing to the sloppy, if not criminal, booking practices of the former and the current administrations, and a fair amount of foot dragging by the Indiana State Board of Accounts, which has oversight responsibility, no one can really say what the city can, or can not, afford in the way of incentives to any project.

      There was a time in this country when finances were lined up BEFORE commitments were made to projects like this one.

  2. Jesbus!!! Mayor Winnie makes me look like Calvin Coolidge.

    He makes Dennis Kucinich look like Thomas Sowell.

    The City Council will probably act like the teenage girl who’s boyfriend just spent a ton of money on flowers, jewelry and a limo.

    Ohhhh Mayor Winnecke!! You shouldn’t have!

    $50M on us!??

    ♫ Workin’ in a factory
    Eight days a week
    Try to make dollar
    Damn what a beat

    Cartoon capers
    Happen in reality
    Rich man poor man
    Livin’ in fantasy

    Let’s go all the way ♫

  3. It has come to be the case in American politics that the most surefire predictor of an outcome such as this is to determine which would yield the largest expenditure of public funds and place your bet on that outcome.

    I just won $347 using this new method!

    You, too, can win big with this patented Cronyism Methodâ„¢ of municipal expenditure prediction! Just go to http:/ and you could be the next BIG WINNER!

    • Brad, I guess you decided to forego the touted city council run. Where did you move to?

  4. This project will be a success, and would have been a success at any of the other sites as well.

    That’s what I like about it. A few things I don’t like about it:

    A) The explanation given by the IU officials for choosing Downtown: 1) location is “walkable”; and 2) access to area hospitals. I don’t think either of these things is true. It will not be a ‘Campus setting’, rather navigating dilapidated sidewalks and lots of traffic lights/cross walks downtown. it is not close to ANY hospital, maybe the students will walk to Deaconess to get some exercise ? Does ANYONE out here understand what these enlightened officials mean ? ; and

    B) The TIF District brings in $ 6.6 Million annually the C&P reports. $ 3.8 Million of that is used for the Fraud Center (58 %), and another $ 1.3 Million promised to the Downtown Hotel. Combined, 77% of the TIF is out of play; leaves just $ 1.5 Million a year for worthy projects like this one. My point: the Fraud Center is the gift that keeps on not giving–sucking up resources that could have been used more fruitfully. What if some major employer wants to come here and we mortgaged our future on a place for the Aces to draw 3,500 ??

    • “This project will be a success” (Chef)

      * * * * * * * * * *


      Would you define “success” for me?


      • Press,

        The total amount of taxes collected from Students + Faculty will, over time, exceed the amount of the outlay (now quoted as $ 50 Million). I have not heard anyone, thus far, predict the amount of TIME, in Years, in which this investment will it payback.

        • also, forgot to add the taxes collected by new businesses (and their employees) created to serve the Students + Faculty. Can’t forgot that component, a big one !

          • If any significant new business is created downtown, which I doubt, it will be in a TIP district, remember?
            The good news is that most of the new business created will be on the east or west side, and not in TIF districts.

          • Chef:

            Do not confuse the up front cost of the project with the total cost, which includes the interest and principal on the bond issues.


        • Chef:

          That is a pipe dream. There will be no ROI for this rape of the taxpayers.

          When all the debt is figured for this project, it will be clear to everyone that THERE WILL BE NO RETURN ON INVESTMENT for the taxpayers, who again will take it on the chin and in the wallet, unless someone steps forward and initiates a referendum and the project gets a thumbs down from the voters.

          • Look at the taxes which Vandy Co. and the City will receive. The COIT collected on all Students (who have Jobs), faculty and support staff and all the employees of new businesses.

            Also, for each new Property which houses the living quarters of faculty and staff, and for the new businesses which will be built, there will be new Real Estate Taxes collected.

            For each Restaurant, the 1 % Food & Beverage Tax (although you could argue that the meals eaten at new restaurants will just cannibalize the existing places these new people would otherwise have dined at: thus, it’s a push on the Food & Beverage Tax).

            One thing I know for sure: no one will be officially measuring this, so if there is a crossover point where the $ 50 Million (+ interest) is ‘paid back’–WE’LL NEVER KNOW !!!

    • BTW Chef, the downtown TIF has needed support in the past to meet its share of the arena bond payments. I believe the money was taken from river boat funds to make up the difference.


  5. Taking the real estate off the tax rolls will create a deficit in the tax collections because the TIF district only captures tax revenues from INCREASES created. The medical school will be tax exempt.

    • I am assuming you advised your client of this BEFORE he jumped on it with both feet?

  6. Well, if this doesn’t “revitalize” the downtown Evansville, Indiana area then my next suggestion is a low yield nuclear device.

  7. I don’t have a problem with the money if indeed that was the price for building downtown. I find it to be ironic that most of those balking at the price tag are the ones who think a billion plus dollar auto bridge is within reason.

    The problem I have is this price is jacked up so high because it involves all of the dpatrick property. And when you consider the fact that the old central lot is owned by the county and YMCA and requires no demolition, the question still lingers why not buy that property, use Mets next to it, use the parking garage caddy corner from it and buy the lots to the north and east around the historical apartments?

    Winnecke will no doubt pin the med school against the council but why should we use more of our tif because of a more expensive inferior lot? Doesn’t make sense to me.

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