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Kaiser Permanente plunking down $900 million on new Oakland headquarters

Officials say the new building will reduce operational costs by more than $60 million annually and support affordable care for the community.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Kaiser Permanente has announced plans to construct a new headquarters -- The Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center -- in Oakland, bringing together staff currently spread out across multiple locations.

The health system said the impetus behind the $900 million project is reducing annual operating costs and delivering more affordable care and coverage.

The new building, at 2100 Telegraph Avenue, is scheduled to break ground in 2020.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

Officials say the new downtown Oakland building will reduce operational costs by more than $60 million annually, addressing facilities maintenance, inefficient utility expenses, and rising commercial real estate leases. Reinvesting these savings will help the health system advance its mission of providing quality, affordable care to the communities it serves.

The new offices are expected to feature a modern, environmentally sustainable, efficient workspace with improved access to public transportation, with the endgame of supporting employee collaboration, productivity, and the system's goal to be carbon net positive by 2025.

The current vision for the building includes dedicated space for a health clinic and health education; community meeting spaces; healthy food options; weekly farmers markets; exercise and cooking classes; and a showplace for community-inspired art.

Kaiser Permanente's 7,200 national and Northern California Region employees currently work in seven separate sites, primarily in Oakland. Once construction of the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center is complete in 2023, existing buildings currently owned by Kaiser Permanente will be acquired by local developer Lane Partners for renovation and commercial use.

The health system estimates the new building will generate a one-time $23-million economic benefit in addition to more than $15 million annually in local tax revenues for the city.

Over the coming months, Kaiser Permanente will engage its employees and the Oakland community in the planning and development of its new location, as well as in seeking best uses for public spaces in the building to foster collaboration and wellness.

THE LARGER TREND

Kaiser Permanente has long engaged in activity aimed at benefiting the arger Oakland region. In December, the health system committed roughly $1.65 million to support relief and recovery efforts in communities impacted by California wildfires, with the money paid out through multiple gifts to various organizations, including the American Red Cross, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the Ventura County Community Foundation.

Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com