Ground to be broken soon on Kaiser site

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By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Sometime soon, ground will be broken in Keizer Station for a new Kaiser Permanente medical office.

Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, told the Keizertimes on Dec. 27 an official with Kaiser Permanente said the groundbreaking would be “either the first or second week of January.”

That jives with Mayor Lore Christopher’s Facebook post from earlier in the week.

“Kaiser Permanente will break ground in the second week of January,” Christopher wrote on Christmas Eve. “This is a present to Keizer that will keep on giving as we have more high wage local jobs available.”

The subject of the groundbreaking was brought up by Keizer City Council president Joe Egli during last month’s Keizer Planning Commission meeting. At the time, Brown noted he was expecting the event to take place sooner.

“I thought they were going to be starting in December,” Brown said at the time.

Erin Tassey, a spokesperson with Kaiser Permanente, expected to have more information soon.

Last June, company officials confirmed a 20,000 square foot medical office would be built in Keizer Station, just south of the Panera Bread and Ryan J. Hill Memorial Park. In recent years, the area has been used for some of the Keizer Iris Festival activities.

At the time, Kaiser Permanente officials estimated the facility would open in either late 2014 or early 2015. If it indeed opens this year, it would be the second new medical office to open in Keizer in 2014, as a new Silverton Health 10,000 square foot medical office is expected to open in February on Inland Shores Way NE, about two miles from Keizer Station.

A permit for the Kaiser Permanente office was applied for last year, with a tenant improvement valued at $1,294,000 filed on Dec. 19 for the 20,132 square foot medical office.

Brown noted the first permit was noteworthy.

“Kaiser Permanente was the first all-electronic plan submission,” Brown said.

As a result, and in anticipation of the possibility of more such submissions in the future, Brown said the city had to get new hardware and software.

“We got our first 42-inch monitor set up for that,” he said at last month’s Planning Commission meeting. “We will be able to look at (electronically submitted plans) more efficiently.”

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