Swedish Health Services

Growing to Further the Mission

Swedish Cherry Hill Campus expansion approved by Seattle City Council in unanimous vote

In 1910, Dr. Nils Johanson, a surgeon and Swedish immigrant, founded Swedish Medical Center with other doctors and nurses who shared his passion for being on the leading edge of medical practice and patient care. Fast forward more than a century and Swedish is the largest nonprofit health care provider in the region and remains at the forefront of technology and innovation in health care.

In 2000, Swedish purchased its main Cherry Hill campus and since then, together with its development partner Sabey Corporation, has invested more than $100 million to renovate the site. The campus is now more than 1.2 million square feet that includes numerous specialty services, including brain and spinal care programs. Nearly 380,000 patients visit the Cherry Hill campus annually and it’s expected that number will increase an additional 30 to 50 percent with the growth of the region.

In order to accommodate growth over the next 30 years, Swedish needed to expand and participated in a multi-year Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP) process to get approval for the growth of the Cherry Hill campus.


The City of Seattle MIMP process is required by all colleges, universities and medical centers for expansion to balance the needs of growth of the institution while minimizing any adverse impacts associated with the development on the surrounding community.

The MIMP process includes a series of public meetings and conversations with neighbors, the Citizens Advisory Committee, several City of Seattle departments and the broader community. It also includes a full environmental review of all possible impacts through an Environmental Impact Statement.

Swedish’s MIMP process started in 2011 with a letter of intent to the city’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD), and in September 2015, the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner recommended to the Seattle City Council that it approves the expansion, which was previously recommended by DPD.

On May 16, 2016, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to approve the 1.4 million square foot expansion of the Cherry Hill campus, clearing the way for Swedish to begin construction.


The expansion project is the largest of a medical center in Washington state and will increase facilities for medical, research and support services, including space for a state-of-the-art treatment and rehabilitation center for traumatic spinal injuries.

The approval of Swedish’s expansion relied on three points of the proposal: physical development, public benefit and transportation management.

The physical development of the Cherry Hill campus will include the demolition and rebuilding of aging buildings, as well as the construction of new buildings, which will be better suited to accommodate best medical practices and provide Swedish with the flexibility to plan for the future of health care and the needs of the community. Development will be concentrated at the center of the campus and located within the campus’ current boundaries. Taller buildings will be built along the west end of the campus that borders Seattle University, with lower buildings along the east end, adjacent to residential properties.

Along with providing excellent medical care to the Puget Sound region, Swedish’s expansion continues its work as a good community partner and will deliver additional public benefits, including community education programs, community space, charity and subsidized care, and more.

As part of the MIMP process, Swedish developed a Transportation Management Plan (TMP) with the goal of decreasing the number of single occupancy vehicles arriving at the Cherry Hill campus through a variety of initiatives, including promotion of transportation incentives, parking management programs, intercampus shuttles and new and expanded parking policies. Swedish’s goal is to decrease the single occupancy vehicle rate to 32 percent of all trips.

Foster Pepper is honored to represent Swedish Health Services in helping expand facilities to improve the health and well-being of each person it serves.

Read our announcement “Swedish Hospital’s Expansion Approved by Seattle City Council” for additional information.