Riverside Approves New Hospital, Huge Healthcare Center in Eastern Riverside

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(This article was written by Ryan Hagen and published in the Press Enterprise on November 15, 2017.)

Plans for a massive healthcare center in Riverside — which would include a new hospital — were approved Tuesday.

The Riverside City Council voted unanimously Tuesday, Nov. 14, to approve the Canyon Springs Healthcare Campus and allow construction on 50 acres north of Eucalyptus Avenue and west of Day Street.

The project, which will be built over 10 years, would include:

  • A 280-bed, five-story hospital with a penthouse
  • Five medical office buildings ranging from 40,000 to 100,000 square feet
  • A 234-unit, three-story senior housing facility
  • A 290-bed, three-story independent living/memory care, assisted living, and skilled nursing facility
  • Two four-level parking structures.

The company responsible for the hospital can’t yet be discussed because negotiations involve a non-disclosure agreement, TDA Investment Group officials said.

The project would alleviate the shortage of doctors in the area and help the local economy, said the heads of several local chambers of commerce who supported the project.

“We couldn’t endorse this project more,” said Cindy Roth, president and CEO of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. “As we all know, healthcare is a huge issue for this region and our citizens.”

Roth also submitted a letter noting that, while California averages 1,341 patients per physician, Riverside County has 2,515 patients for every doctor — barely half of the average.

The Greater Riverside Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce also supported the project.

However, the Center for Environmental Justice and Accountability asked that the City Council deny the project or at least delay it until studying other issues.

Many of the group’s objections relate to traffic, which they note was analyzed based on a projected 2016 opening and could be outdated.

The project is projected to generate more than 18,500 average daily traffic trips, the group said.

“This represents nearly one-third of the vehicular traffic projected to be generated by the entire World Logistics Center on its 2,160 acres,” wrote Leo Gonzalez, a member of the group, in a letter he delivered to the city Tuesday. The logistics center is a massive warehouse complex planned for eastern Moreno Valley.

Gonzalez also expressed concerns about the project’s impacts on nearby homes and potential health effects on patients of being so close to the 215 and 60 Freeways and 1.6 miles from March Air Reserve Base.

The developers replied that the project is more likely to reduce total traffic. Building a hospital doesn’t increase the need for medical care, so it will allow locals to drive to a nearby health campus instead of traveling farther on congested highways to get to other hospitals, said Andrew Fogg of Cox Castle Nicholson, the developer’s attorney.

City Councilman Mike Gardner called the argument that the project would create more traffic “specious” and said it would improve healthcare as well as being good for the area.

“I was honestly surprised to hear the opposition to this project and the backhanded suggestion that warehouses are better than medical care,” Gardner said. “I do not understand that. These are good jobs that will not get automated and disappear as warehousing and logistics jobs will.”

In addition to construction jobs, the finished project is expected to generate 2,540 jobs with an average wage of $28.11 per hour, TDA said in its presentation.

TDA is a real estate investment manager that has been active in Riverside for 27 years

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Name: Canyon Springs Healthcare Campus

First phase (About 15 months of construction): 234-unit senior housing facility, about 375,000 square feet and three stories, 290-bed independent living/memory care, assisted living and skilled nursing facility, about 310,200 square feet and three stories

Second phase (About 40 months of construction): 180-bed initial phase of the hospital building, which will be 324,000 square-foot and five stories. It will include: central energy plant, medical office building, four-level parking structure

Third phase (About 15 months of construction): Two medical office buildings

Fourth phase (About 32 months of construction): Medical office building, second four-level parking structure

Fifth phase (About 28 months of construction): Second phase of hospital building, consisting of 100 beds within an approximately 180,000 square-foot, five-story hospital, possible helipad on hospital building’s top floor.

Source: City of Riverside