CPMC Cathedral Hill Rendering
With Mayor Ed Lee asking for $108 million to approve California Pacific Medical Center’s comprehensive plans, including a new medical center at Van Ness and Geary on Cathedral Hill and to rebuild St. Luke’s in the Mission, according to a statement from California Pacific CEO Warren Browner, CPMC has agreed to fund $115 million worth of affordable housing, transit and streetscape improvements in return for the city’s blessing.
Assuming Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors approval, site prep for the Cathedral Hill Hospital project could commence by mid-summer.
SF Mayor To CPMC: $108 Million To Approve Cathedral Hill Hospital [SocketSite]
CPMC’s Long Range Development Plan Renderings And Draft EIR [SocketSite]
California Pacific, Mayor Ed Lee reach agreement on Cathedral Hill [Business Times]

29 thoughts on “CPMC And The City Reach Agreement For Cathedral Hill Hospital Plan”
  1. Ok Bob, here’s your chance. What would you do to meet the objectives of the project? Plan a 555- bed hospital for us. Where are you going to put it? How are you going to finance it?

  2. When the Jack Tar (now Cathedral Hill) Hotel was built in 1960 people called it “The box that Disneyland came in.” Oh, we witty San Franciscans, never saw a new building we didn’t snark on.

  3. Not at all a dead block. The hospital will be bustling with people. Its workers and visitors will patronize local businesses. It is on major transit routes and in the center of the city–an ideal location for the hospital.

  4. Mike – I would put it where it can serve the people who live in the southern half of the city. Why do we want all the hospitals in the city clustered right next to each other?

  5. If you look at the pictures of the project, you will see that retail storefronts are planned for both Van Ness and Geary.
    Well, good, cuz that’s a change. Apparently, some people in the profession realized how stupid it was to design a 555-bed hospital on a major pedestrian street and not have it interact with the street. And they did it without my personal involvement that some commenters recommended above.
    Wonders will never cease, I tell you…

  6. Most people live in the northern half of the city, so why shouldn’t we get most of the hospitals? Seton is a huge medical center and serves southerners quite well.

  7. Denise: not ALL the hospitals are clustered together. That’s just false.
    SF general is in the “southern” part of the city.
    The new UCSF hospital will also be in a southern location.
    And I do think this new location on Van Ness and Geary is a great location for a large, urban hospital.

  8. Well, the new St. Luke’s will be 1/3 the size of the current facility. And the new UCSF Mission Bay hospital will not have an emergency room for adults. So it’s hard to argue that this deal results in better access for anyone living south of Market.

  9. For a major hospital, this seems reasonably centrally located and accessible. More and more medical care is being delivered on an out-patient basis anyway. What really matters is where are medical offices, surgecenters etc. St. Lukes could be a great resource for those things in the southern end of the city. But the nurses union is more interested in it being a full-service hospital — even if that capacity is not needed.

  10. The new St. Luke’s will have more beds inpt beds than are typically used now, a larger ER, and plans for a new urgent care center and new outpatient center. Plus the new Van Ness campus location generally is easier to access from southern neighborhoods than the existing California and Pacific campuses.So I don’t see much of an access to care issue.

  11. “When the Jack Tar (now Cathedral Hill) Hotel was built in 1960 people called it ‘The box that Disneyland came in.’ Oh, we witty San Franciscans, never saw a new building we didn’t snark on.”
    People in SF just hate tall buildings, when are people going to stop making jokes about this building looking like the box Disneyland came in?

  12. @Denise
    The hospital is being built in the northern part of the city because that’s where all of the patients with MONEY are. Easy access from Marin, too.

  13. The Cathedral Hill hotel is one of the ugliest buildings in the city, and I like tall buildings. It’s simply ugly (the Holiday Inn down the street is also pretty hideous).

  14. From where I live, if you draw approximately a 1.5 mile radius you will encompass St. Mary’s, CPMC California St, CPMC Pacific Heights, UCSF Parnassus, UCSF Mt. Zion and Kaiser. Extend it to 2 miles and you’ll include Cathedral Hill, and not much further to get St. Francis. I think that’s a ridiculous concentration of hospitals.
    For the entire city south of Market St. you have General – which no one in his right mind wants to go to except for trauma; and St. Luke’s, which is always hanging by a thread. It’s a long way to Seton, especially if you’re not near the freeway.
    There may be more people living north of Market than south of it – I don’t know. But certainly there are hundreds of thousands of people living south of it.
    I don’t know what the other planned facilities are besides Cathedral Hill and St. Luke’s – the article I read said there were 5 but didn’t say more than that.
    Having been stuck in plenty of traffic in the area around Cathedral Hill, I sure hope I’m never in an emergency trying to get there at rush hour.

  15. If you live in the southern half of the city, as I do, you are fortunate to be close to the city’s class one trauma center, SFGH. If you are having another kind of emergency, like chest pain, the ambulance can get to a hospital, e.g. St. Luke’s, quite quickly. And by ambulance, Van Ness and Geary is only minutes from much of the city, if you need to go to the main CPMC hospital. If anything access will be improved for most by the new hospital.

  16. @Denise, what the heck is the big deal? 2 miles? 5 minutes? Good grief — get over it. At least it’s relatively equal distance for everyone.

  17. Once they get around to building the BRT lanes on Van Ness and Geary, they could make fantastic emergency lanes, too. Two lanes that will be free of traffic 80% of the time.

  18. Exactly. Denise; what exactly IS the big deal? This is a great location for many many residents of SF.
    If you don’t wanna drive that far then go to SF General.

  19. I guess some of you must have missed the news stories about the problems ambulances in the city have getting through heavy traffic. People can’t and/or won’t get out the way. If you think you could always get to a hospital on the north side of town from the south in a matter of minutes, you’re dreaming.
    Yes, there is St. Luke’s – thanks only to activist pressure and probably only temporary. If it were up to Sutter it would have been closed a long time ago. That is the point. The hospitals are interested in money and prestige, not in making sure the whole city is well served. That’s why the city has care.
    I know an emergency room doctor who used to work at SF General. He told me that except for gunshot wounds I should make sure I never get sent there.
    I lived in Glen Park for years and I did worry about how far I would be from an emergency room if St. Luke’s closed. Nice of you all to callously dismiss the concern, but it is real. And for those of you think the hospitals are “centrally located”, take another good look at a map. Better yet, do a Google map search on hospitals and zoom out to get a view of the whole city, and then tell me you don’t see what I’m talking about.

  20. @kg: you bet 5 minutes can be a “big deal”–literally the difference between life or death if you have a heart attack.

  21. If you’re that concerned about living close to a hospital you should probably move close to a hospital, not complain that nobody is building a hospital close to you.

  22. CPMC is planning to spend $250 million on a new St. Luke’s, which it is not planning to close. The new St. Luke’s will have a larger ER, plus an Urgent Care center. So what’s the problem?
    The ER at SFGH is staffed with top flight UCSF doctors, by the way, and is a great resource for the city, especially for any major trauma. And SFGH will have a brand new hospital soon.

  23. I agree with R. If travel time to a hospital is a real concern of yours, you should live close to the hospital. You can’t mandate a company to set up shop near you because it’s inconvenient to live where you want to live. They set up shop where they can sustain themselves. Non-profits still have to run themselves like a responsible business. They have people to employ and bills to pay.

  24. “you bet 5 minutes can be a “big deal”–literally the difference between life or death if you have a heart attack.”
    True but heart attack victims generally are not resuscitated in the ER unless they’re already there. Even if a victim collapses a block away from a hospital first responders will go *to* them and administer CPR and perhaps use a portable AED and oxygen right where the victim fell.
    So if you’re worried about being rescued from a heart attack then look towards how quickly first responders can reach your home or workplace. That would be the fire department or a local EMT pod, not a hospital. And if you’re at a large employer, airport, or athletic facility there might be volunteer first responders right onsite. Even aircraft and trains usually have AED and oxygen onboard along with staff trained to use that stuff to revive a heart attack victim.

  25. Do people really worry about how far they are from a hospital? especially here in compact San Francisco?

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