Hospital: The project has been on the books for years. Courtesy photo

The long-planned Phase Two redevelopment of Providence Saint John’s Health Center is heading to Planning Commission with Providence Health Systems seeking approval for an overhaul of its South Campus facilities and sign-off on an updated community benefits agreement.

The reconstruction and expansion plans would remove the existing Saint John’s Health Center foundation building, MRI facility, John Wayne Cancer Institute, and a vacant apartment building to make way for ten new structures. The proposed facilities include hospital space, medical offices, medical research facilities, a health and wellness center, an education and conference center, a child and family development center, day care, restaurants, visitor accommodations, and a minimum of ten units of affordable multi-family housing.

The project would also add a subterranean parking lot and replace several existing surface parking lots with open garden spaces and pathways accessible to the public.

Providence Saint John’s is a 266 bed hospital located on a 10 acre campus on both sides of Santa Monica Boulevard between 20th and 23rd Streets. Redevelopment plans date back to 1994 when the Northridge Earthquake destroyed significant portions of the hospital’s infrastructure, leading to a 1998 City Council agreement for a 55 year phased reconstruction and development term.

Phase One construction was completed in 2013, the same year that Providence Health Systems purchased the entire hospital campus. The Phase Two plan largely focuses on the hospital’s 5 acre South Campus located on the south side of Santa Monica Blvd., however it also includes three sites on the main campus north of Santa Monica Blvd.

In order to gain City approval for the massive project, Providence Health Systems is required to enter a community benefits agreement. The proposed 12 part agreement contains requirements for Saint John’s to fund and facilitate City’s priorities around health, homelessness and social services. Saint John’s will carry out some of this work directly using its redeveloped facilities, while other aspects will be carried out by the City or other community partners using funding from Saint John’s.

The proposed agreement would require Saint John’s to provide a minimum of $1 million annually in grants to non-profit community organizations offering homeless services from 2023 through 2042 and a minimum of $500,000 annually through 2052. The agreement also asks Saint John’s to provide a total of $10 million to fund behavioral and mental health initiatives, however the City and Saint John’s are currently in disagreement over the payment schedule.

The community benefit agreement also includes requirements to provide childcare services, local hiring programs, an internship/nurse residency program, public access to open space on campus, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvements.

Planning Commission will discuss the proposal during a Jan. 26 meeting, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. and stream live at youtube.com/user/Citytv16santamonica. The Commission’s recommendations will be passed on to City Council, which will have the final say on the project at a later date.

Clara@smdp.com