Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center broke ground last week on a $215-million expansion and modernization of its Downtown Los Angeles campus

The hospital, located at 1401 S. Grand Avenue in the South Park neighborhood, will see addition four-story, 150,000-square-foot patient tower that will enhance its emergency, trauma, and maternity departments.  Construction is expected to be completed in 2020, with occupancy expected to follow in 2021.

“This ambitious project will help ensure that California Hospital can continue to fulfill its mission of serving our community now and for many years to come,” CHMC President Margaret R. Peterson, Ph.D., said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “This expansion will also enable the hospital to attract top-level talent plus accept more medical residents, nursing students and students from other disciplines, strengthening our role as a major teaching hospital.”

“Los Angeles is where the world comes to innovate—and every day we are harnessing the power of technology to save and improve lives,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “California Hospital Medical Center has worked for decades to help Angelenos grow and heal, and the new patient care tower will strengthen healthcare and create good, middle-class jobs for generations to come.”

CHMC is currently ranked as the busiest private trauma center in Los Angeles, seeing over 81,000 patients annually in a space designed to handle only 55,000 visits.  Accordingly, the expanded emergency department will allow for a 51 percent increase in the number of patient care areas.

The hospital is also the site of approximately 3,600 births each year, prompting the addition of an enhanced neonatal intensive care unit.

Designed by The Devenney Group, the new patient tower will be built with shell space on its top floor in order to account for future growth - a reflection of the continually swelling residential population in the Downtown area.

Plans also call for the construction of a six-story, 749-car  parking structure that will feature 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

CHMC is funding the project with a $40-million investment from parent organization Dignity Health, as well as a $125 million loan. The remaining $50 million balance is to be funded through a capital campaign.