Providence Saint John’s Health Center is now moving forward with plans for a massive new 799,000 square foot development on both sides of Santa Monica Boulevard between 20th and 23rd streets.

On Tuesday, the city extended the expiration dates for eight Development Review Permits to give the hospital up to twenty years to finish the project. Current facilities will remain open during construction.

Over the next two decades, Providence Saint John’s plans to build above and below ground parking garages, expand ambulatory and acute care, build a child and family development center, and research buildings as well as housing for families and visitors and a cafe. The Master Plan includes a pedestrian bridge across Santa Monica Boulevard and two underground tunnels connecting the campus.

But while the city extended the deadlines for the project, councilmembers also created a lengthy wish list for the hospital’s new campus.

Councilmembers would like to see the hospital build at least 10 units of affordable housing on the grounds to compensate for 10 rent-controlled units that will be demolished during construction. They also asked for the hospital to include infant and family support programs, community parking for neighbors, a shuttle to the nearby Expo Line and 35 percent open space. Another major priority for the council and for Mid City Neighbors: a psychiatric unit.

“I do think the mental health component of the community’s request is really what we need in this city,” Councilmember Sue Himmelrich said. “It’s my understanding that we don’t have a single facility for emergency psychiatric care and this is a great opportunity for us to have one.”

In 1998, the city and the hospital worked together to form a plan for reconstruction of the hospital, which had significant damage from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. The 55-year term of the Development Agreement ends in 2053.

The City Council will have ability to review and make recommendations to the master plan over the next two decades.

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