by Thomas Dworetzky
, Contributing Reporter | March 26, 2020
The $900 million Kaiser Permanente 1.6 million-square-foot Oakland headquarters deal is dead.
“Delays and increasing costs related to this project caused us to reexamine the feasibility and focus on renovating our current buildings,” stated Kaiser. The cancelation was not COVID-19 related, according to the San Francisco Chronicle
The new HQ would have brought 7,200 Kaiser employees — now in seven East Bay offices — together in the planned 29-story Telegraph Avenue tower.
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“It’s a pivot for Kaiser, and one that makes sense for their organization and members at this time,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. “They’re reinvesting and improving their existing sites across the city, so the most important fact is that they’re staying rooted right here in Oakland,” she said.
Kaiser was also in the news in January when it paired with Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW)
to form Futuro Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of available healthcare workers.
The establishment of the $130 million entity is meant to address the shortage of healthcare workers in California, which is expected to require approximately 500,000 new healthcare workers by 2024. The aim of Futuro Health is to graduate 10,000 new licensed, credentialed allied healthcare workers in the state over the next four years.
"Kaiser Permanente recognizes California's healthcare industry is facing a projected workforce shortage of half a million people over the next few years," said chairman and CEO Greg Adams in a statement. "By investing in health education, skills training, and retraining programs with Futuro Health, Kaiser Permanente, in collaboration with SEIU-UHW, is leading efforts to reverse the shortage trend. This investment effort is consistent with our Nurse Scholars Academy and mental health postgraduate training program."