Mount Carmel West Franklinton Master Plan
Mount Carmel Health System has had a long presence in Franklinton, an urban neighborhood just west of downtown Columbus. When the system announced the moving of its central and historic hospital from Franklinton to a suburban Grove City location, the Catholic-affiliated health system saw an opportunity to strengthen the bonds with the local residents and develop the 25-acre site into an anchor of holistic growth and community wellness in West Franklinton.
Mount Carmel and SmithGroup worked together to develop a comprehensive master plan that calls for infill urban development with a diverse mix of uses, ample open green spaces and parks, continuation of the existing street grid, and both student and affordable housing. With the existing Mount Carmel Hospital demolished, adaptive reuse efforts include an expanded Mount Carmel School of Nursing and a freestanding emergency department (ED) to serve the surrounding community. Extensive community outreach and neighborhood meetings informed the ideas behind the master plan, which emphasizes education, health, and wellness components throughout.
The plan recommends a partnership-driven urban framework and suggests opportunities for dynamic new models for integrated education, outpatient care and urban health. The system demolished its west campus hospital, making way for the new ED, private development opportunities, an expanded college of nursing, retail, affordable homes and student housing, job training center, and an expanded Healthy Living Center—a community health and wellness center that provides free holistic health and wellness programs that equip and empower long-term health behavior changes in a safe, inclusive space. Programs at the Healthy Living Center include cooking and nutrition, community meetings, diabetes prevention, exercise, healthy babies and families, wellness, and stress management.
While separated from downtown Columbus by the Scioto River, West Franklinton balances the benefits and challenges associated with the ongoing boom in urban living in the capital city. SmithGroup’s guidelines emphasize Franklinton’s unique role in downtown Columbus and establishes Mount Carmel’s commitment to improving health outcomes and access for current and future residents that integrate wellness and design as part of sustainable and equitable urban infill solutions.
The Mount Carmel West Franklinton Master Plan is a model for how health systems, government and public agencies, private developers and community leaders can link health, education, and business together to help communities thrive as part of new partnership models.