Holland & Knight Attorney Successfully Assists Sutter Health with New State-of-the-Art Medical Center on "Pill Hill"
Project Incorporates the First Project-Specific Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan in Oakland, CA
As a partner in the firm's West Coast Environmental and Land Use Practice, Preiss handled the project planning; environmental review, which included an Environmental Impact Report required by the California Environmental Quality Act; and the entitlement process that took nearly two years. His counsel also included participation in multiple community outreach programs and successful defense against an administrative appeal filed by an opposition group.
Preiss was instrumental in helping to formulate the GHG Plan to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the project in accordance with greenhouse gas reduction policies and goals established by California's pioneering AB 32 (the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006) and implementing regulations. The Plan identified and inventoried greenhouse gas emissions from the project, detailed a set of additional design features that could be incorporated into the project to further reduce emissions, and created a framework for the purchase or endowment of carbon offsets on a local, state and national level. In approving the project, the City Planning Commission heralded the project's GHG Plan as an exemplar for all projects in the City.
The project also exemplifies the significant planning, implementation and cost hurdles that must be overcome by numerous hospitals in California as they seek to comply with California's strict "SB 1953" seismic safety requirements for hospitals, which arose as a direct result of the crippling damage to hospitals and other public facilities caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake in southern California.
The first phase of the project is now underway and is planned to be completed by 2015. This phase includes the demolition of existing buildings and the construction of a new $300 million, 250,000 square-foot, 11-story acute care hospital meeting these seismic safety requirements. Phase one will also include the building of a new emergency care department, a new 1,100 space, seven-level parking garage and related street and site upgrades.
Future phases include construction of a 175,000 square foot medical office building, including street level retail, a 72,500 square foot building for the affiliated Samuel Merritt University and a 32,000 square foot employee fitness center atop the new parking garage.
Preiss' practice focuses on land use, real estate and surface mining law. For more than 25 years, Preiss has represented private and public sector clients in zoning and other land use permitting matters for new and existing projects and related land use litigation, as well as real property transactions.