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BTinSF Sep 19, 2009 3:39 AM

SAN FRANCISCO | CA Pacific Medical Center Cathedral Hill Campus | 226 FT / 81 M
In accordance with a California law mandating earthquake resistance of all hospitals by 2013, California Pacific Medical Center has been planning a new LEED Silver-rated hospital that conforms to the law. It has purchased property for the project taking up the block bounded by Van Ness Ave., Geary Blvd., Post St. and Franklin St., currently (and for decades) occupied by the Cathedral Hill (formerly Jack Tar) Hotel.

The Jack Tar Hotel

The new hospital will be 290' tall and have 555 beds. Designed by SmithGroup, it is estimated to cost $1.7 billion.

Across Van Ness Ave. at this site:

will be a new medical office complex connected to the hospital by a tunnel under Van Ness Ave. (in at least some versions of the proposal):

The Cathedral Hill Hotel is scheduled to close for good on October 31 of this year (2009) so that demolition and construction of the new project can begin. The new hospital is planned to open in late 2014 or early 2015.

tommaso Oct 15, 2009 11:14 PM

More new and details on this project...
Any more news and details on this project?

peanut gallery Apr 19, 2011 6:50 PM

The links to renderings that BT posted are now broken, so I thought I'd add some new ones.

This is the smaller office building across the street:

All images sourced from: Rebuild CPMC website.

I believe the final EIR is in development. I know the draft EIR was discussed by the Planning Commission in September and there was public comment in March. They are supposed to be back on the Planning agenda in May and June. I assume those are to finalize and approve the EIR, then it's on the BOS.

CyberEric Apr 19, 2011 9:23 PM

Great! Thank you. This looks nice. What is the cross street with Van Ness?

peanut gallery Apr 19, 2011 9:41 PM

You're welcome! It's the block between Geary and Post.

Complex01 Apr 19, 2011 11:36 PM

Hmm interesting. I like the glass. It looks nice...


1977 Apr 20, 2011 12:21 AM

Thanks for the updated renderings. Looks great!

northbay Apr 20, 2011 5:31 AM

looks gorgeous!

peanut gallery Aug 18, 2011 1:09 AM

Didn't realize this was happening, but the smaller medical office building (see the old rendering above) underwent design changes based on input from the Planning Commission.

From the SF Business Times:


California Pacific Medical Center revamps MOB plans at Cathedral Hill
San Francisco Business Times - by Chris Rauber
Monday, August 15, 2011

California Pacific Medical Center , under fire from several quarters for its plans for a $1.7 billion Cathedral Hill hospital and medical office complex near downtown San Francisco, is altering the design of its nine-story, 496,000-square-foot medical office building there.


CPMC made the design changes in response to concerns at the San Francisco Planning Commission about the original “design and scale,” according to an Aug. 11 memo to Planning Commissioners from Elizabeth Watty of the department’s staff. Commissioners wanted the MOB to be more compatible with historic buildings along Van Ness Avenue, “more contextual” and related architecturally to nearby buildings, and smaller in scale.


Among other changes, Watty’s memo noted, CPMC agreed to:

-Replace the structure’s proposed “glass skin” with a concrete cladding with an infilled building grid and "large glass openings” to more closely match neighboring structures.
-Replace the original asymmetrical design with a symmetrical one.
-Put the entry in the center of the structure, rather than the corner.
-Lower the podium to align with other structures nearby, setting back the upper portion from the Van Ness podium facade “to reinforce this structure at the street.”
-Add a “contemporary cornice” at the top to link with other buildings in the vicinity with “strong cornices along the street.”
-Replace large expanses of glass with GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete), “which has a heavier quality and is more similar to the materials of the historic buildings along Van Ness Avenue.”
-“Break up the bulk” of the proposed MOB by using a variety of materials, such as stone, GFRC and glass, and more variation in depth on the building’s facade.
I've tried several times to post the rendering but it just won't work. So go here to check it out:*900.jpg?v=1

Compared to the original, I'd say this is a big step backward. However, if the hospital gets approved I can live with this new design for the smaller office building.

ElDuderino Aug 18, 2011 8:35 PM

:previous: Here you go*900.jpg?v=1
Uploaded with

colemonkee Aug 18, 2011 10:56 PM

I very much prefer the previous design. Oh well.

CyberEric Aug 18, 2011 11:49 PM

Oh neat, another utterly boring design.

peanut gallery Aug 19, 2011 1:00 AM

Yep, pretty disappointing. Thanks ElDuderino!

patriotizzy Aug 19, 2011 11:03 PM

Horrible. Shame on the Planning Commissioners for their decision. The original designs were beautiful.

CyberEric Aug 22, 2011 5:30 PM


Originally Posted by patriotizzy (Post 5384541)
Horrible. Shame on the Planning Commissioners for their decision. The original designs were beautiful.

Yep, this is the mother of all muck-ups. I now hope the project doesn't go forward at all. This design does nothing for Van Ness, nothing for the city, and there are controversies about the need for a hospital there at all. Thumbs down.

peanut gallery Aug 22, 2011 6:00 PM

While this is a dumb change, keep in mind this is just the office building across the street. Doesn't mean the much larger hospital will undergo a similar design change. If the hospital looks like the renderings we've seen for it so far, I'll be happy even with this thing across the street. Now if it gets the same treatment, I'm right there with you.

Gordo Aug 22, 2011 6:02 PM

Also, folks should keep in mind that the new design isn't just from design input from the Planning Commission, or at least we can't say that for sure. The pic at the very beginning of this thread was a very conceptual rendering, and not some kind of ready-to-go plan that was then changed by Planning.

I think that getting this office building on that corner will be a HUGE plus for the area. That block can get pretty disgusting some days/nights, and the current dilapidated and rundown buildings don't help with that. Adding a nice new building with a ton of doctors and visiting patients will really help during the day, and just cleaning up the surroundings should help at night.

NOPA Aug 25, 2011 6:10 AM

Here's an idea: just tear down all of Van Ness and start over. Oh and the planning commission can go fist themselves.

Sonofsoma Aug 26, 2011 6:45 AM

Cathedral Hill Hospital Project in Jeopardy
The degree to which CMPC has been stymied by City politics is unreal.

Lets be clear about what's going on... and remember this is taking place in the midst of a devastating economic recession.

With the mega exception of the $6+billion new Bay Bridge, the CMPC Catherdral Hill hospital complex is/was to be the biggest construction project in the State of California. (The LAX terminal expansion is #3 at $1.5 billion.. for a sense of scale: see 2010 list here [URL=""])

CMPC has had its $1.7 (now $2.5+) billion dollar state-of-the-art medical center project ready to go for nearly 10 years now in anticipation of the 2015 State of California seismic deadline. We now know for certain that date will not be met and CMPC must seek an extension from the state that will add at least $150 million to the project.

The delays are a direct result of actions taken by thepolitical class that runs local government and views CMPC as the last great cash cow. Its astonishing to think they are publically demanding nearly $2 billion -yes, billion - in 'concessions' before allowing the project to proceed. (see:

Nobody talks about it openly, but the Van Ness Project is in real jepoardy.

One has to wonder: Does the San Francisco politic think CMPC/SutterHealth would assemble a mutli-billion dollar project without also having a viable backup plan? Do they assume CMPC's new medical center must be sited within The City & County of San Francisco for it to serve the community?

Daly City hasn't.

Can you picture a gleaming new medical center with an address of say... One John Daly Blvd. ("top of the hill!") or perhaps a sprawling hillside medical campus with panoramic views of the bay and room to grow - located where "San Francisco's" Drive-In theater used to be?


peanut gallery Dec 16, 2011 11:03 PM

Finally, some good news. From The Examiner:


CPMC on verge of closing deal for $1.9B hospital
By: Dan Schreiber | 11/23/11 5:00 PM
SF Examiner Staff Writer

After nearly seven years of wrangling between San Francisco and the California Pacific Medical Center, a basic agreement for a massive new hospital in The City appears to be only weeks away.

CPMC spokesman Kevin McCormack said he expects a deal to be reached in the next two weeks — and at least by the end of the year — for the remaining “tiny details” to be settled on a $1.9 billion, 555-bed facility on Cathedral Hill. The hospital plan itself would have to go through The City’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

McCormack, who declined to reveal more details, said he is cautiously hopeful, mentioning a news story from 2004 that said CPMC “hopes to break ground” on the hospital by 2006.

“But we’re optimistic,” McCormack said. “We’re closer than we’ve ever been.”

Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Lee, echoed the sentiment.

“There is good progress being made and it’s going in a positive direction,” Falvey said.
Sounds like they've pretty much come to an agreement on the shakedown CPMC will have to pay the city.

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