By Mike Kinney
In recent weeks, local residents have watched daily as construction crews worked to demolish the shuttered Doctor’s Medical Center at 2000 Vale Road in San Pablo.
So what’s next for the 8.5-acre site? Expanded casino parking.
The Lytton San Pablo Casino and the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians purchased the property for $13.5 million in order to expand the casino’s parking capacity by 1,000 spaces. The new expanded lot is expected to be completed in early 2020, according to Doug Elmets, a spokesman for the casino.
The additional parking will benefit the neighboring community, said Elmets, as customers will park in the casino lot rather than in adjacent neighborhoods.
“It is ideal to have the ability to park on Casino property,” Elmets said.
Ample casino customers means ample revenue for the city of San Pablo. Over 50-percent of the city’s general fund operating revenue comes from the casino.
“The Lytton Casino San Pablo values being an economic asset to the City of San Pablo,” Elmets said.
Originally known as Brookside Hospital, Doctors Medical Center closed in April 2015 after 61 years in service due to financial struggles. The hospital had served many of the community’s uninsured and underinsured.
If the casino wanted to build upon the former DMC site, its plans would have to be vetted by the city of San Pablo.