Businesses Not Ready to be Uprooted for New Elk Grove Hospital

ELK GROVE -- For David Brown, making beer is as much a science as it is an art.

"There’s a tremendous amount of biology that goes into this," he said.

But he worries rather than cleaning out his barrels he’ll soon be cleaning out his business, Dreaming Dog Brewery.

"They’re going to drop a hospital on top of our building and, basically, my building, the building across the way here are going to disappear," Brown told FOX40.

Ten to 12 businesses could be forced to move or close if plans for a new hospital in Elk Grove go through.

California Northstate University is looking to build the 250-bed teaching hospital at the Stonelake Landing Shopping Center along Elk Grove Boulevard near Interstate 5.

"We spent almost two years bringing this business to life," Brown said. "It would not be a simple process of getting the business shut down and moved to another location."

But Mayor Steve Ly says the benefits of having a hospital in Elk Grove, the first of its kind, just can’t be ignored.

"We don’t have a hospital in the City of Elk Grove," Ly said. "A matter of minutes could be a matter of life and death and I think as the mayor of the City of Elk Grove it really is a public safety issue."

The hospital would bring an estimated 24,000 jobs over the next 10 years and a $750 million investment.

Northstate's General Counsel Paul Wagstaffe said the university plans to work with business owners to help them relocate to other areas of the shopping center that won’t be impacted by construction.

"But we’re hoping that by working with the city we can keep them close by so they can benefit from the hospital also," Wagstaffe explained.

The university owns the shopping center but Brown still has 13 years left on his lease. He’s not ready to turn his open sign to closed -- at least not without a fight.

"Do I think that I can win a battle with them? No," Brown said. "Can I draw it out and bring enough attention to the problem that they have to do something to settle this? Yes."