ONN – The Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center For Uptown Oakland
The planned new Uptown Oakland headquarters for Kaiser Permanente will be a giant 28-story, $900 million building of 1.6 million square feet in size. The Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center For Uptown Oakland will be located at 2100 Telegraph Avenue and will break ground in 2020 (Details at this website.)
“For more than 7 decades, Kaiser Permanente has been proud to call Oakland our home, and today we further strengthen our commitment to this incredible city,” said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “While allowing us to go from 7 sites to one and reduce operational costs by more than $60 million annually, which will create additional benefit for our members and customers, this new headquarters — The Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center — will also bring tremendous benefits to the Uptown neighborhood, serve as a thriving center for the City of Oakland, and be a collaborative workspace for our employees.”
This 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 advance Kaiser Permanente’s mission of providing high-quality, affordable care for its members and communities.
“Kaiser Permanente has been an anchor in Oakland’s community for more than 70 years,” noted Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “We are so pleased that this organization has reaffirmed its commitment to Oakland with this decision to establish a new headquarters, a central home for its employees and a place for our community to connect and thrive.”
A Far Cry From 1994 For Kaiser Permanente
In 1994, this blogger engaged in a battle against Kaiser, which, pointing to a desire to consolidate far-flung medical offices, considered a move to Downtown Oakland and Uptown. But ultimately Kaiser expressed an idea to expand to Emeryville – to land now occupied by Pixar.
The deal was structured by then Emeryville Redevelopment Director, later Oakland Economic Development Director, and now Co-Chief Operating Officer of Five Point Holdings, and my UC Berkeley City Planning Classmate, Kofi Bonner. But a public outcry in Oakland that involved the former governor who would be mayor Jerry Brown, stopped it. Brown sued Kaiser and I, Zennie Abraham, was with him in Oakland on that day, too.
I was also in the room for the pivotal, late night November 3, 1994 meeting of the Emeryville Planning Commission. Here’s a rare video of that three-hour moment in time:
Eventually Kaiser abandoned the project to remain in Oakland. Now, 25 years later, Kaiser has affirmed its real estate commitment to Oakland, and for the first time without any need for political pressure.
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