WEST LOS ANGELES — Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is expected to start construction within three years on a major expansion project that calls for adding four new buildings over a 15-year period to the 22-acre medical facility, said Irving Feintech, chairman-elect of the board of directors.
Feintech said the expansion is vital to the medical center's future, in large part because it will allow additional outpatient care. Such treatment, Feintech said, "is one of the most important trends in patient care today."
"A patient will be able to have surgery in the morning and go home in the evening. This will result in reducing cost. It will be cost-effective," he added.
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the expansion plan, which will add 700,000 square feet to the medical center, at 8700 Beverly Blvd.
Feintech said construction is expected to cost $350 million to $400 million and will begin as funds become available for the project during the next three years.
A 340,000-square-foot outpatient diagnostic and treatment center will be the first building to go up, with construction expected to take about two years.
The rest of the project features a 170,000-square-foot organ transplant wing, a 127,000-square-foot rehabilitation center and a 20,000-square-foot magnetic resonance imaging center.
The expansion drew some criticism from residents and officials of nearby Beverly Hills and West Hollywood in the early stages of the development, but no one voiced opposition to the plan at Wednesday's council meeting.
Much of the criticism had focused on the additional traffic that the expansion would bring to an already crowded area.
The council last week received a letter from Beverly Hills officials who continued to express concern about the development's effect on traffic along the city's stretch of Wilshire Boulevard.
Feintech said he believes Cedars-Sinai officials had addressed most of the criticisms of the project.
"We met with the community, different organizations and worked with Beverly Hills and West Hollywood to see what the problems were. I think that helped quite a bit. As a result, opposition has been minimal," he said.
Under its development agreement with the city of Los Angeles, the medical center will install a signal at Sherbourne Drive and 3rd Street to keep traffic flowing, Feintech said.
The 10-story parking structure being built near the medical center will also relieve some traffic, he said. The structure is expected to be finished in June, 1994.