July 30, 2013

Kaiser Permanente's Mission Bay Parcel Purchase: Timing And Terms

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Kaiser Permanente is paying $55.2 million for the parcel of land upon which they will be building their new Medical Services building at 1600 Owens Street in Mission Bay, having canceled their contentious plan to build a few blocks away at the base of Potrero Hill.

The sale of the parcel which is zoned for 10-stories and 246,000 square feet is slated to close in December. Alexandria Real Estate, the seller, will manage the construction of Kaiser’s new building, the original designs for which are likely to be tweaked.

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First Published: July 30, 2013 12:45 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Good riddance to Kaiser. A stupid, idiotic mistake trying to put a high traffic/Mission Bay type building on a site in PH.

Posted by: sfskipper at July 30, 2013 2:42 PM

There is no "good riddance" to Kaiser. They are still here and just moved their project to a new site a few blocks away. What's your problem with that?

And no, you are not correct. The old site was not "in" Potrero Hill. It was at the base of the hill and in a area already appropriate for the project.

Posted by: Futurist at July 30, 2013 3:01 PM

Seriously. 75% of the traffic this project will bring is coming straight down 16th Street. Forcing Kaiser to the other side of the tracks is just going to make traffic at that intersection worse for those in Potrero Hill as they have to wait for a train to pass with all the traffic backing up.

That said, I prefer the new location. It is two minutes closer for me to walk to from work.

Posted by: gribble at July 30, 2013 3:07 PM

Not really related, but it's funny, I was walking near that location and happened to come across a flyer decrying the "Manhattanization" of Potrero Hill. What was the project they were unhappy about? A 6 story condo development.

Posted by: lyqwyd at July 30, 2013 4:09 PM

Kaiser = Walmart of medicine. They're far better suited in Mission Bay, not Potrero. Best decision would have been to relocate to Bayview on Third Street corridor - a community which could have used the jobs and better medical access. That would have been a bold game changer. Instead Kaiser clearly more interested in marketing/branding with a perceived marquee (albeit ugly) office park location. Agree with earlier poster. Good riddance to Kaiser.

Posted by: norwester at July 30, 2013 4:58 PM

"Kaiser = Walmart of medicine."

What does that even mean?

Posted by: wc1 at July 30, 2013 5:06 PM

""Kaiser = Walmart of medicine."

What does that even mean?"

I agree norwester, what do you mean by this statement?

Kaiser is an excellent program IMO.

Posted by: Schlub at July 30, 2013 6:44 PM

Kaiser is not going away, by any means. I'm curious as to why one would call them the "Walmart" of medicine. pretty silly, negative comment.

Kaiser serves people of ALL incomes, by the way. They do a very good job of keeping health care costs down.

You have no idea what you're talking about, except to make irrelevant negative comments here.

Posted by: Futurist at July 30, 2013 6:47 PM

This Kaiser building better have PLENTY of parking on multiple levels as this is a relatively small lot.

Posted by: d_b at July 30, 2013 8:02 PM

Kaiser is a pseudo non-profit that's more interested in enriching its own bottom-line than putting patients first. They practice high-volume patient care. Factory healthcare. It's a corporate business. The company earned more than $2.6 billion in net profit last year. Their CEO earned close to $8 million in compensation in 2010. They're not shy about writing big checks to lobby and curry political/public favor.

Posted by: tetonmaker at July 30, 2013 8:14 PM

building on a legacy of ugly structures, kaiser erects this disaster. what is going on in that rendering?!

Posted by: tom at July 30, 2013 8:30 PM

The new Kaiser building most resembles a Pontiac Aztek. That jumble is such an abomination that it must be intentional-- a big f- you across the freeway to its Potrero Hill neighbors.

Posted by: Dan at July 30, 2013 9:42 PM

the building design in the rendering is not Kaiser's - it has existed for years as the Alexandria plan. agree it's awful. I had hoped it would go out the window with the new owner, but it appears not to be the case if Alexandria is managing the construction?

Posted by: timbad at July 30, 2013 10:20 PM

Thanks for the insight - the fact that they would appropriate a developer's rendering is not at all surprising given that the number of Kaiser committees that even a preliminary rendering would have to go through.

Regarding Kaiser's track record, their recently completed Broadway Medical Offices in Oakland by NBBJ are quite good. That said, Kaiser appears to be using TMD for this one, so anyone who hopes that this will be anything other than another third-rate building by a firm still mired in a post-modern corporate design mentality will likely be disappointed.

In their facilities as well as in their medical care, Kaiser has the capacity to do things well, but it generally requires a great deal of prodding and cajoling to get a good result. Hopefully enough people will let Kaiser know that something better is expected of them with this facility.

Posted by: tj at July 31, 2013 12:28 AM

Planning and design review committees are consistently putting projects through the wringer. But this monstrosity gets built? It looks like it will join the Jukebox Marriott and the Big Blue Intercontinental as one of the worst major buildings in SF. Someone please stop them!!!

Posted by: jlasf at July 31, 2013 9:17 AM

""Kaiser = Walmart of medicine."

Kaiser is actually one of the best if not the best HMO in the country, and was and still is the model of preventative medicine and integrated care before others were doing it, and most still aren't. Yes, everyone has their gripes and bad stories and they probably do make too much money and their execs get paid too much; it is a big system. But Kaiser was offering and pushing everything from free vaccines, regular annual well-care check-ups, discounts on yoga classes, and the like, eons before anyone else did, and most still don't. They have a motivation to keep their members healthy, whereas non-integrated systems only want to take your money and treat your ails once you get sick. I've been with Kaiser since the day I was born and I can't envision anything else. Having to shop around for doctors and specialists? Good gracious, I can't imagine anything so barbaric.

Posted by: anonymous at July 31, 2013 10:58 AM

If Kaiser is using NBBJ for this facility as they have for the new Oakland buildings (and I think from the looks of one I spotted somewhere down 880, for a broader 'kit of parts" or design standard for other facilities) I hope for SF's sake they step it up several notches. The Oakland tower currently nearing completion is looking astonishingly cheap and ugly; very easy to see it as a deliberate insult to Oakland on the part of both Kaiser and the architects - especially given what I assume Kaiser could have spent and what I know the architects are capable of. Both parties owe an apology to the community.

Posted by: don at August 1, 2013 8:11 AM

Kaiser as a health care delivery system has its pros and cons. It does indeed do a good job and preventative medicine, better than most in fact. However, they for better or worse "ration" some advanced and more expensive care. Much of that cost containment is justified, as we in the US obviously spend way too much on likely unnecessary care. But on the other hand, there are specific issues and conditions where Kaiser doesn't provide true standard of care. And Kaiser is certainly not the place to go if you need care for difficult and/or rare conditions. I think that may be in part the basis for the "Walmart" comment.

That being said, as far as the actual post topic, I find the planned general location of their planned site humorous. It's like they are trying to bask off the glory of UCSF Mission Bay. That is, if our building is close enough, maybe people will think we're in the same league. Sorry, no.

Posted by: Unplugged at August 1, 2013 11:22 AM

Kaiser is locating in Mission Bay because it is a central place which tolerates the construction of large medical facilities. They preferred lower Potrero Hill, but were blocked by NIMBYs. In Mission Bay, the site was already entitled for the type of construction they were seeking.

Posted by: Dan at August 1, 2013 11:27 AM

"Kaiser is locating in Mission Bay because it is a central place which tolerates the construction of large medical facilities."

Central to whom? Ask folks out in the Sunset, or for that matter the southwestern part of SF, and it's not that central. The closest Kaisers are either Geary or Daly City.

So Mission Bay is close to the freeways and bridge? The East Bay has its own sites, so that's not a valid reason.

This location IMO is in large part prestige factor, with ease of zoning thrown in there.

Posted by: Unplugged at August 1, 2013 12:35 PM

Prestige factor, yes. Ease of zoning, yes. Marketing, yes. Kaiser disclosed to the Potrero community they wanted a location next to the freeway so that their corporate logo could be seen by drivers on I-280. Having a giant advertising billboard was apparently a key factor for them.

Posted by: coffeemaker at August 1, 2013 1:01 PM

"Central to whom?"
Kaiser has said it wants a location central to the eastern side of the city. It already has the western part of the city covered with the Geary location.

Posted by: Dan at August 1, 2013 1:52 PM

All fine and good, but you are side-stepping the prestige factor. Coffeemaker's point about the freeway advertising is a good one, too.

Posted by: Unplugged at August 1, 2013 2:34 PM

Posted by: SocketSite at December 2, 2013 11:53 AM

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