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Demolition Of Cathedral Hill Hotel Begins As SF Makes Way For New Hospital

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— California Pacific Medical Center celebrated the kickoff of development for two new hospitals in San Francisco on Tuesday, but first an old hotel has to be demolished to make way for one of them.

A large crane lifted the old Cathedral Hill Hotel sign off the front of the high-rise at Van Ness and Geary to symbolically start demolition where CPMC will start construction of its brand-new facility in June of 2014.

In February 2016 St. Luke's Hospital, in the city's Mission District, will be re-built. Both facilities will be "state of the art" and seismically safe according to California Pacific Medical Center CEO Dr. Warren Browner.

Demolition of Cathedral Hill Hotel Begins As SF Makes Way For New Hospital

Browner added that most inpatient services from the California Street campus will be transferring to the new location Cathedral Hill Location.

"You're all invited back here in ten years when we do the ribbon cutting and actually that's the reason we're here, is to open new hospitals to take care of all of us when we're in need," said Browner.

The project was stuck in negotiations and protests for years and ended with Sutter Health agreeing to downsize from over 500 to about 300 beds, and to rebuild and expand St. Luke's and to commit about $80 million in a community benefits package.

"We've already gotten the first check from Sutter that represents a healthy investment. Housing, transportation, pedestrian safety," said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee who was on hand at the event.

Both hospitals are set to open in 2019.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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