City OKs new Kaiser hospital in Kearny Mesa

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kaiserSAN DIEGO — The construction of a 450-bed Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Kearny Mesa was approved Tuesday by the San Diego City Council.

The project on 20 acres along Ruffin Road at Clairemont Mesa Boulevard will include a seven-story, 565,000-square-foot hospital, along with a medical office building, a central utilities plant and a parking garage on 20 acres

Most San Diegans know the property as home to the Registrar of Voters and other county offices, which will move into a new building soon.

“With all the talk of infrastructure that makes our community safe or more efficient or more sustainable, we talk about streets and sidewalks and parks, and public buildings,” Councilwoman Marti Emerald said. “We don’t often include medical facilities, but our hospitals and our medical facilities are essential parts of the infrastructure that we need here in San Diego to keep us strong and sustainable and healthy.”

The hospital will include an emergency department, operating rooms and recovery spaces, pharmacies, a laboratory and a blood bank, as well as administrative offices, conference rooms and other support facilities.

Kaiser plans to achieve a LEED gold certification for environmental sustainability, making it the first hospital in the state to meet the criteria.

Edward Littlejohn, the chief operating officer for Kaiser in San Diego, said the project would create about 700 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent positions when finished in three years.

The Oakland-based health care organization operates 25 medical facilities in San Diego County and is one of the biggest managed care organizations in the country, with about 8.9 million subscribers.

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