Kaiser Breaks Ground for Medical Center in Murrieta

From left: Maryann Edwards, mayor pro tem of Temecula; Chuck Washington, Riverside County Supervisor; Jonathan Ingram, Murrieta City Counc...

From left: Maryann Edwards, mayor pro tem of Temecula; Chuck Washington, Riverside County Supervisor; Jonathan Ingram, Murrieta City Council member; Dr. Frank Flowers, Kaiser Permanente regional medical director; Robert Blair, chief administrative officer of Kaiser Permanente; Randon Lane, Murrieta mayor; Rick Gibbs, Murrieta mayor pro tem.
Murrieta 24/7 photo: Kristen Spoon

City of Murrieta officials' dreams of a medical corridor along Interstate 215 in the northern part of the city came closer to fruition Thursday with groundbreaking for a new Kaiser Permanente medical center.

Members of the Murrieta City Council and other local civic leaders joined with Kaiser administrators, doctors and other health workers at the site of the 37-acre parcel located on Keller Road between Antelope Road and Mapleton Avenue. The facility, whose services will include primary care, obstetrics/gynecology, lab, pharmacy and imaging, is scheduled to open in fall 2017.

The long-term plan is to add a Kaiser hospital at the site, which would be a welcome addition for Kaiser members who now have to drive to Riverside or Moreno Valley for such services. But even in the interim, an additional Kaiser medical center is expected to take some of the strain off local Kaiser facilities in Temecula and Wildomar.

Located just north of the Loma Linda University Medical Center and just south of the Menifee border, the 80,000-square-foot Kaiser facility will feature a design making use of natural light and ventilation. It will also include a pedestrian path, conference room and open reception area.

"We are striving to be good neighbors to this community, which is why we have designed this facility in such a unique way," said Robert Blair (right), chief administrative officer for Kaiser in the Riverside area. "This will be a beautiful large building. It will include gardens that schools can use to plant vegetables and herbs, plus room for a possible farmers market and much more. We are excited to begin this first phase in what will be a long journey with this community."

Murrieta Mayor Randon Lane took part in the ceremony along with fellow city council members Jonathan Ingram and Rick Gibbs.

"The vision we had was to make this area the medical hub of Southern California, and I think we have moved in the right direction to provide more health care in this region," said Lane (left). "We have seen numbers that say about 25 percent, roughly 27,000, of our city are Kaiser members. To have this facility in this community is an honor."

Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington also spoke at the ceremony.

Two members of the Menifee City Council -- John Denver and Lesa Sobek -- attended the ceremony. According to multiple sources, an agreement has been proposed involving the City of Murrieta, City of Menifee and Kaiser Permanente regarding partial financing for expansion of the Scott Road Interchange -- the nearest freeway access to the site. The agreement has not been finalized, however, according to sources.

The Murrieta City Council unanimously approved plans for the Kaiser facility in February, even after receiving a letter from the City of Menifee that disputed Murrieta's analysis of traffic impact on the area.

An architect's rendering of the Kaiser Medical Center in Murrieta.


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