Sansum Clinic has started construction on its first new South Coast building in decades.
The new surgery and medical office suite is a joint venture with Santa Barbara-based Towbes Group and is located on Foothill Road on a vacant property adjacent to Highway 154. The site will include two buildings totaling approximately 60,000 square feet. Construction is expected to take about a year.
Towbes is the developer and property owner and will be the landlord; Sansum has signed a long-term lease for the space. According to Towbes Group President Craig Zimmerman, the value of the project is “in excess of $20 million.”
Originally purchased by Towbes in 1999, the original plan for a shopping center was derailed by community opposition. A residential project was shelved due to environmental issues.
But the city of Santa Barbara embraced the idea of a Foothill Medical Center campus occupied by Sansum and the site was annexed into the city of Santa Barbara, approved by the planning department and a permit issued in a relatively speedy seven months. “This project embodies what Sansum is all about,” said CEO Kurt Ransohoff.
The last new Sansum clinic on the South Coast was a Pueblo Street facility completed in 1976. Sansum serves 150,000 patients at 23 facilities in Santa Barbara County. Representatives of Penfield & Smith and Lenvik & Minor Architects as well as Santa Barbara Planning Director Paul Casey were on hand for the March 12 groundbreaking.