UC Irvine, City Settle Lawsuit Over New Medical Complex

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Main News Photo

(Orange County Register)

Making good on earlier comments about their ability to work together, the City of Irvine and its resident university have settled a legal fight over UC Irvine’s plans to build a hospital and medical center on the edge of the campus.

The $1 billion medical complex near Birch Street and Jamboree Road will include a 144-bed hospital as well as a Center for Children’s Health, medical offices and urgent care.

City officials said the jobs and better health care access from the project would be welcome, but they had concerns about traffic, construction noise and added burdens on the city’s police and firefighters, so they sued on Feb. 8 challenging UC Regents’ approval of the medical complex.

Under a settlement announced March 3, UC Irvine agrees to chip in $4 million toward road, bike lane and sidewalk improvements along Jamboree Road intended to ease traffic congestion, according to a city press release. The university also will pay $2.5 million to help improve traffic around the campus, and the two sides will create a plan “to collaboratively address mutual interests,” the release said.

Mayor Farrah Khan said in the statement that the City and UCI have always had a good relationship, and “our collaborative history streamlined the process of coming to a mutually beneficial agreement for the city and one of our top educational institutions.”

UCI officials also referenced the relationship between the university and the community in a released statement: “UCI and Irvine have maintained a strong partnership for 50 years, and we’re pleased that we worked together to reach an agreement.  We look forward to building a world-class medical center on the UCI campus, which will bring thousands of jobs and necessary health care services to our community.”

Construction of the medical center is expected to start within months, with the first facilities opening sometime next year.

Category: Irvine News