OAKLAND — Kaiser Permanente has sketched out plans to relocate more than 1,000 workers from Oakland to the healthcare provider’s big campus in Pleasanton as part of a recalibration of its administrative operations.
The relocation of several hundred Kaiser workers portends a fresh blow to Oakland’s economy as it attempts to recuperate from the side effects of the coronavirus outbreak — yet also offers a boost to Pleasanton’s economic fortunes.
An estimated 1,200 Kaiser workers will move from downtown Oakland to Pleasanton. The relocation is slated to occur by sometime next year, Kaiser Permanente stated.
Kaiser’s decision to move the employees arose because of a steadily intensifying shift towards working remotely or from home and away from in-person appearances at an official workplace setting.
These trends prompted Kaiser to rethink its requirements for office sites.
“With our need for administrative space significantly reduced, we will transition about 10% of our total workforce in Oakland to our existing Pleasanton campus in early 2024,” Kaiser said in comments emailed to this news organization.
That works out to about 1,200 of the 12,500 Kaiser workers based in Oakland, the healthcare firm said.
Kaiser Permanente’s national headquarters will remain in Oakland, where the provider of health services has been based for 50 years. Workers that offer medical services, including those at the main Kaiser medical center in Oakland, aren’t involved in the relocation.
The national administrative workforce that’s based in Oakland will relocate from several downtown buildings and move to the Ordway Building tower at 1 Kaiser Plaza in Oakland, according to an internal memo issued by Kaiser executives that this news organization obtained.
That sort of move could create new blocks of empty office space in downtown Oakland.
The relocation of the 1,200 workers to Pleasanton’s Hacienda Business Park is expected to reduce Kaiser’s annual administrative costs, the healthcare firm stated in the internal memo.
The Pleasanton campus, which Kaiser owns, includes six office buildings that total more than 700,000 square feet. Kaiser believes the Pleasanton complex will be able to accommodate all of the regional administrative employees who will relocate from Oakland.
Kaiser noted that the Pleasanton campus offers flexible office spaces, areas for team collaborations, a full cafeteria, a gourmet coffee shop and a gym. The campus also is close to the Pleasanton-Dublin BART station as well as the interchange of interstate freeways 580 and 680. The Pleasanton campus also contains free on-site parking and outdoor gathering and leisure sections.
The healthcare titan intends to carry out wide-ranging renovations to prepare the Pleasanton offices where the relocated employees from Oakland will work, according to the internal memo. These renovations are slated to be complete by early 2024. After that, individual departments will move from Oakland into their new offices in Pleasanton.
Most of the employees who will move from Oakland to Pleasanton will retain the flexibility to continue to work remotely, even every day of the workweek, Kaiser said in the internal memo.
In 2019, with great fanfare, Kaiser and then-Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced that Kaiser had decided to relocate its headquarters operations to a future office tower in downtown Oakland.
But in 2020, Kaiser scuttled those plans due to delays and rising costs related to the new office tower.
Despite the upcoming exit of 1,200 jobs from downtown Oakland, Kaiser insists that it is not going to abandon the East Bay’s largest city.
“Kaiser Permanente remains committed to the city of Oakland, which is an integral part of Kaiser Permanente’s history and future,” the healthcare firm said.
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