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Viewpoint: Beacon committed to downtown project, a vibrant South Bend

South Bend, IN

When news recently unfolded that Beacon Health System collaborated with the city of South Bend and a commercial real estate developer to support and enable plans for a transformative downtown project that will create a vibrant new residential and commercial district, inevitably some started questioning the motivation: What’s in it for them? Why is Beacon doing this?

Our board and leadership affirmed our commitment to a partnership and project that will be positive for the future vitality of downtown South Bend. We transferred ownership of 13 parcels of land south of the Memorial Hospital campus to enable the city and Great Lakes Capital to build a mixed-use development that complements our Memorial Hospital campus reinvestment.

While Beacon will not be involved in project development, construction or ongoing operations, Madison Lifestyle District will provide affordable housing that could benefit our associates. Also, as we increase our intensive care unit capacity and add more than 50 acute care beds, a nearby hotel will serve as a convenient respite for patient families who might live an hour or more away from Memorial Hospital.

However, it’s important to recognize that this project is about so much more. It’s fundamentally about enriching the community, and it underscores Beacon’s continued and unwavering commitment to South Bend.

Kreg Gruber

As a locally governed, not-for-profit health system, we have more than 100 volunteer board and committee members who live and work in our communities, dedicating many hours to guiding Beacon’s decisions about how Beacon can best support and serve our communities. We care deeply about the success and vitality of the communities in which we live and provide services.

In addition to traditional health care delivery, we recognize our unique position to contribute to the city’s vitality by playing this active role in the health and well-being of downtown South Bend. By supporting initiatives like the Madison Lifestyle District, and through our reinvestment in the new 10-floor Memorial Patient Tower, we are proud to play a role in the city’s growth and redevelopment.

The patient tower project, a significant investment for a health system of our size, demonstrates our commitment to South Bend and to providing the very best facilities and highest level of care for patients in our communities, including the medically underserved and under/uninsured. This investment is necessary to enable Beacon to be able to continue to provide the highest level of healthcare services in the region.

At the same time, the collaboration between Beacon, the city and Great Lakes Capital exemplifies the power of a shared vision, and it underscores Beacon’s commitment to community support and investment, solidifying our position as a cornerstone of local health care.

John Martin

By fostering even greater connectivity between downtown South Bend and Memorial Hospital, we believe this project will enhance the quality of life for residents and create a more vibrant downtown urban landscape. This effort exemplifies Beacon’s steadfast commitment to not only delivering outstanding health care services, but also serving as a catalyst and advocate for growth and vitality in our community.

John K. Martin is chairman of the Beacon Health System Board of Directors. Kreg Gruber is CEO of Beacon Health System


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Martin Huttenlocker Headshot

Martin Huttenlocker

Development Manager

Leveraging 17 years of relationships and extensive background in the commercial real estate industry, Martin provides direct strategic and analytical support as part of the Great Lakes Capital development team. Since joining the firm in 2017 he has performed a hybrid role in asset management and brokerage services within the GLC portfolio. Martin earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Missouri/Columbia and an MBA from Roosevelt University in Chicago.