San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee today signed legislation approving plans for construction on two new California Pacific Medical Center hospitals in the city.
Lee was joined by several city supervisors and hospital officials at City Hall today as he signed the legislation approving a new 120-bed hospital at CPMC’s existing St. Luke’s campus in the Mission District and a new hospital with up to 304 beds on Cathedral Hill.
“It’s been long, it’s been arduous, but I think we all agree it’s been worth the effort,” Lee said of the struggle over an agreement for the hospital plans.
A previous development agreement last year between the mayor’s office and hospital officials included plans for a smaller-scale hospital at St. Luke’s and a larger one at the Cathedral Hill site at Van Ness Avenue and Geary Boulevard.
However, supervisors shelved the deal, in part because of an escape clause that they said could have allowed CPMC to close St. Luke’s if its operating margin stayed negative for two consecutive years.
The new agreement includes increased contributions by the hospital group to the city for charity care and a commitment to hire at least 30 percent San Francisco residents for construction jobs on the new buildings.
The deal was hashed out between hospital officials and three supervisors—board president David Chiu and supervisors Mark Farrell and David Campos.
“I’m amazed we’ve come as far as we’ve gotten,” Chiu said. “This is a great day for the health of San Francisco.”
The agreement was reached with the help of mediator Lou Girardo, who is also co-owner of Boudin Bakery in San Francisco.
Girardo said he came into the negotiations “somewhat skeptical” but left impressed with the supervisors’ commitment to the common good of the city.
The board gave unanimous initial approval to the CPMC plans at its June 25 meeting and confirmed its approval again on Tuesday.
CPMC spokesman Dean Fryer said construction on the project will begin later this year with the demolition of an abandoned hotel currently at the Cathedral Hill location.
Fryer said it will take about a year to prepare the site for construction of the new hospital.