California Hospital in downtown LA prepares for major earthquake-resistance expansion

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The California Hospital in downtown LA will soon be the site of a major construction project/seismic upgrade and expansion (Google image)

Dignity Health’s California Hospital Medical Center in downtown LA will soon start a major redevelopment project to modernize and meet state regulations.

The hospital has reported 25 “open” projects overall with a value of $242 million with The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).

The largest project listed in the OSPHPD database is for a new Emergency Department and Women’s Services Building valued at more than $119 million.

Upcoming work at the 130-year-old institution includes a four-story, 143,000 sq. ft. operating area, and a six-story parking garage with 8,000 sq. ft. of retail. Work is expected to start in the third quarter.

“In order to meet the growing demands of this rapidly expanding community and to comply with SB1953 for seismic retrofitting, we will be expanding,” a Dignity Health spokesperson said in a statement to the Los Angeles Downtown News. “More exciting details will be shared soon.”

The state’s seismic legislation passed after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, ha strengthened structural requirements at acute care centers, and mandates that all hospitals comply with the regulations by 2030.

The OSHPD’s most recent report indicates that four of the hospital’s structures, the D&T Building, the 1963 Central Plant, the 1969 Central Plant, and 1964 Tower, fall short of required seismic ratings,” Los Angeles Downtown News reports.

“A review of the hospital’s planned expenditures in its 2016 report to OSHPD states that the ‘projected total capital expenditure’ for a future ‘built environment project’ is $21,479,189,” the publication reported. “Dignity Health would not confirm the price or elaborate on where the new structure would rise.”

“The only open space for a potential development is a surface parking lot at the northwest corner of Hope and 15th streets. It is unknown if an existing building would be razed to make way for new construction.”

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