Touro Focuses On Cancer Center
By SARAH ROHRS/Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 01/29/2008
TOURO UNIVERSITY public relations director Jim Mitchell outlines the first phase of Touro's redevelopment plan for north Mare Island, which will include the demolition of the Destinations nightclub (in the background) and several other buildings near the intersection of Azuar Drive and G Street. (Mike Jory/Times-Herald)
Plans for Touro University's cutting-edge $330 million cancer treatment center on Mare Island are moving forward, though it may be a while before any construction takes place, officials said.
Touro has development plans for Mare Island's 191-acre north end. However, the current focus is on the 125,000-square-foot cancer center slated for a 26-acre lot at G Street and Azuar Drive, officials said.
Construction of the center could begin in late summer or early fall and be completed by early 2012, Touro public relations director Jim Mitchell said Monday.
Once the cancer center is under way, talks are to begin on Touro's "university village" project involving a health and science campus, bookstores and cafes, a hotel, a community center, housing, parks and wetland management.
The university has an exclusive right to negotiate with the city on a development agreement for the island's entire north end.
"We talked about the need to focus on the 20 acres first and get our arms around that. We wanted to get on that as soon as possible," said city economic development program manager Susan McCue.
Mitchell said city and university officials meet often to discuss the finer points of the agreement related to the cancer treatment center.
Touro is partnering with Seimens Medical Solutions to build the facility, which will be one of the country's first to use combined particle beam therapy, including proton beam and heavy carbon ions.
This spring, the development agreement for the Seimens project is expected to go before the City Council, followed by demolition of numerous buildings near Azuar and G Street.
A cluster of orange military barracks and a former car warehouse will be demolished. So will an unassuming building first used as an enlisted men's recreation club, and then a moral welfare and recreation center, said Mare Island historian Joyce Giles.
Another building to be razed is the longtime home for the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival at Azuar Drive and I Street. This weekend's festival will likely be the last year organizers can use Building 897 for a wide array of workshops, art shows and other activities.
Efforts are under way for the festival to return to its original home in nearby Building 505.
The council in October allowed the city and Touro to focus exclusively on the cancer treatment center before moving on to the university's other plans for the north end.
Touro University opened in 1998, and is educating more than 1,400 students at colleges of osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, health sciences and education.
TOURO UNIVERSITY'S plans for a cancer center.
• Contact Sarah Rohrs at email@example.com or 553-6832.
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