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New Surgery and Oncology Center:

A new 16th Street Surgery and Oncology Center is being proposed to complement the programs currently being offered to patients by Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital for 1217-1231 16th Street.

At a community meeting on the project on January 5, architects from the Arnon Development Group discussed plans for the 45,000-square-foot project. The proposed project contains three stories (45 feet) with a central atrium, outside plaza, bicycle parking, and 250 parking spaces for cars.

Arnon’s Randall Miller discussed the need for the project in Santa Monica by pointing out that over the next 30 years the senior population in Santa Monica will more than double. Seniors go to the hospital two to three times more frequently for procedures than those in middle age and the incidence of cancer in seniors also increases. This project, therefore, attempts to address these increased projected community healthcare needs.

The project is unusual because it contains a sculpture that spans from its central atrium on the first floor through the project’s roof called “Healing Transcendent.” The artist, Kenny Mirman, explained that he called his piece “Healing Transcendent” because “the healing process is a transcendent one. What it is transcending is the adversity we face during that process.” The goal is to inspire those that enter and drive by the building.

A key unique sustainable design feature is an automated parking system which is the first of its kind on the West Coast according to Miller. You drive in and take a ticket like a regular garage, but instead of driving down to different levels while looking for parking you pull in to one of six loading spaces. After you leave your car a shuttle then comes out and places your car in a stacked car vault. The process is reversed when you retrieve your car, and it only takes about 90 seconds to either park or retrieve your car. Systems like this are being used in New York and Korea. This helps make the area needed for parking much smaller, and the parking rates would be the same as in traditional medical parking areas.

This project proposal also contains several other sustainable design features, which are plantings on the roof, an array of roof solar panels, as well as energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems.

Some of the concerns from the community included the height of the atrium sculpture because it exceeds the City’s zoning restrictions, hospital intentions of leasing space to others who are not affiliated with the hospital, whether amenities can be placed on the roof, and if the hospital can provide transportation to the facility for those coming there for treatment.

The project is projected to start this summer and be complete in the winter of 2010 with a projected cost of $45 million. The tentative date for Santa Monica’s Planning Commission to review the project is February 18.

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