The University of California, Irvine, on July 13 held a topping off ceremony for its new hospital that is part of a $1.3 billion medical complex underway on the north end of its campus in the city.
“Your fingerprints are all over this building,” UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris told a luncheon offered to hundreds of construction workers during the topping off ceremony. “When you and your families come here, you can say, ‘I had a big part in building that.’”
Construction of medical facilities totaling about $4 billion are going full bore in Orange County from a groundbreaking of a $300 million facility in Irvine to an $80 million woman’s center in Laguna Hills.
“The acceleration of healthcare systems innovation has placed Orange County on the map in the United States as a place to watch,” Ed Kim, physician in chief at Irvine’s City of Hope, told the Business Journal.
“It’s pretty incredible all the stuff that’s going on,” added Seth Teigen, CEO at Providence Mission Hospital. “If you live in Orange County, you’re blessed to have the best healthcare.”
The executives said a growing population, particularly in the elderly, is the leading
reason for the explosion in new facilities. What follows is a status update for seven of the top projects underway in Orange County.
UCI Health, the largest hospital in Orange County, is building its new medical campus consisting of three major buildings on the corner of Jamboree Road and Campus in Irvine.
A seven-story, 350,000-square-foot, acute care hospital will have 144 inpatient beds, 10 operating suites and a 24-hour emergency department with 20 treatment rooms. It’s scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2025.
The Joe C. Wen & Family UCI Health Center for Advanced Care, a five-story, 168,000-square-foot medical facility will offer specialty care for children such as the Center for Children’s Health and the UCI Health Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders.
It’s scheduled to open next spring.
The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and Ambulatory Care building, a five-story, 225,000-square-foot tower with 36 private exam rooms, numerous infusion bays and operating rooms. It’s scheduled to open next July.
UCI has already begun the process of hiring the 2,500 employees that the complex will need.
“We have no shortage of interest and talent,” Lefteris said. “It’s an amazing place to be.”
City of Hope
City of Hope last year opened its Lennar Cancer Clinic. Next door, it’s building a 165,000-square foot hospital that will have a topping off ceremony in early September and is still on schedule to open in late 2025.
“We’re not building a building. We’re building hope,” City of Hope Orange County President Annette Walker told the Business Journal.
City of Hope, which is based in Duarte, in 2018 was the first medical facility to announce a major expansion to treat cancer in Orange County, Walker said.
It’s spending $1.5 billion in Orange County, including about $1 billion at its Irvine campus that includes the cancer clinic and the hospital.
The Irvine campus employs over 500 now, up from none in 2018. An estimated 350 will eventually work just in the hospital when it’s completed.
Walker cited how 18% of Orange County residents diagnosed with cancer had to travel outside the county to get treatment. She added that one in three people will get cancer sometime in their lives.
“We have a very educated population who does research,” Walker said. “They go for it. “We are extremely specialized – when you’re battling cancer. You want the experts who do this day in and day out.”
Children’s Hospital of Orange County, the fourth-largest hospital in Orange County, earlier this year kicked off construction on a 330,000-square-foot tower at its Orange campus.
The nine-story building near the intersection of Main Street and CHOC Court will hold pediatric outpatient services. Dubbed the Southwest Tower, the project will open in phases starting in 2025.
The construction “is moving at a rapid pace,” according to a spokeswoman. “We laid the final structural beam in early-May and construction is currently 45% complete.”
The expansion of its employee parking structure—adding around 1, 100 stalls— is expected to be finished this fall.
Its cost is estimated to be around $373 million. It’s the largest project for CHOC since 2013, when the 425,000-square-foot Bill Holmes Tower opened on the main campus.
When completed, the tower will include an outpatient imaging center, a dedicated Research Institute floor, oncology infusion services, multiple specialty clinics, and various patient and family amenities.
Providence Mission Viejo
Providence Mission Hospital, the seventh largest in Orange County, is planning to spend $712 million over the next seven years to expand its operations in South Orange County.
On schedule to open in 2025 are two brand new urgent care facilities: a 16,400-square foot building in San Clemente and a 42,000-square-foot building in Rancho Mission Viejo.
“We should start moving dirt before the end of the year,” CEO Seth Teigen told the Business Journal.
The plan also includes a new hospital building at its current campus near the San Diego (5) Freeway and Crown Valley Road in Mission Viejo. The exact location of the hospital will be decided sometime in August.
“The building location informs how traffic and patients move around campus,” Teigen said, adding doctors and other health care officials are involved in the planning.
Providence St. Joseph
Providence St. Joseph Hospital-Orange, the fifth largest in Orange County, in 2021 kicked off work on a new 137,000-square-foot Helen Caloggero Women’s & Family Center, which is scheduled to open in early 2024.
The center—named after the late mother of a large benefactor to the hospital, Marsha Moeller, co-founder of Anaheim’s Moeller Manufacturing and Supply—will house a wide range of services and amenities, including a mother and baby assessment center, a women’s mental health services center, a birthing center.
Food, office space and retail, including a Blue Bowl Superfoods outlet, are some other features of the project.
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, the second-largest hospital in Orange County, on July 20 broke ground on a $300 million complex off Sand Canyon Road in Irvine.
The complex sits next to its current hospital and is across the street from Hoag’s Health Center.
When completed, six new buildings will house 155 inpatient beds, eight operating rooms, two additional procedure rooms and 120,000 square feet of ambulatory facilities. It will be called the Sun Family Campus after a $50 million donation.
“With this expansion, Hoag is ushering in a new era of comprehensive patient care,” Mayor Farrah Kahn told an audience of around 200. “This is going to be a great opportunity for our residents.”
Altogether, Hoag estimates it’s spending in the range of $1 billion to expand in Irvine.
Hoag CEO Robert Braithwaite told the audience that he aims to make Irvine among the healthiest cities in the country to go along with its long-time claim to be one of the safest.
“The new planned facilities will transform this campus in such a way that it will be unperilled in the region,” he said. “The future could not be brighter for us.”
MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center, the eighth largest in Orange County, is spending $80 million to build a Women’s Health Pavilion in Laguna Hills.
The three-story, 40,000 square foot facility, scheduled to open later this year, will feature advanced technology for early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, such as 3D tomosynthesis digital mammography for precise imaging.
In addition, the Women’s Health Pavilion will house OB-GYNs and surgical oncologists who specialize in gynecological cancers, as well as specialty care programs specific to women.
“We designed the Women’s Health Pavilion specifically for women’s needs, for them to have easy access to a range of services in beautiful surroundings,” Saddleback Medical Center CEO Marcia Manker said in a statement.
“I have two grown daughters and just became a grandmother myself. I want this to be a place where they would find comfort when they seek health care.”
Anatomy of a $50M Gift
About 15 years ago, Julia Chao went to a hospital for surgery on a benign tumor in her brain. The surgery didn’t go well.
“She had complications from the initial surgery and was rushed to the Hoag Newport hospital,” her granddaughter, Dara Sun Mullarkey, told an audience at the July 20 groundbreaking for a $300 million complex in Irvine by Hoag.
Following a second surgery, Grandmother Julia stayed over three weeks in the Hoag hospital.
“In my mom’s own words, `During those agonizing days, I experienced first-hand how Hoag operated as a well-organized, efficient, friendly and advanced hospital.’
“My grandmother’s surgeons demonstrated not only remarkable skill but took time to provide detailed updates to my mom and aunt, displaying a level of compassion that left a lasting impression on our family,” Sun Mullarkey said.
Julia Chao is the mother-in-law of David Sun, co-founder of Fountain Valley’s Kingston Technology, Orange County’s second largest private company, generating more than $16 billion in sales in 2022.
Because of their experience, the Sun family donated $50 million to Hoag, which named its 120,000 square feet site the Sun Family Campus.
“It was through these personal experiences that led our family to support Hoag’s expansion in Irvine,” Sun Mullarkey said.
Grandmother Julia, who wasn’t at the ceremony, is still alive and nearing 100 years old.