Medical device maker eyes1.2M sf expansion in Sunnyvale

32-acre project to include 364K sf office buildings and 847K sf R&D plant

Intuitive Surgical ceo Gary S. Guthart with Intuitive offices South Building rendered street view (Fosters + Partners, Intuitive Surgical, Getty)
Intuitive Surgical ceo Gary S. Guthart with Intuitive offices South Building rendered street view (Fosters + Partners, Intuitive Surgical, Getty)

Intuitive Surgical aims to build a 1.2-million-square-foot office and R&D plant outside its headquarters in Sunnyvale.

The robotic-assisted surgical device maker has filed for a construction permit for the Kifer Road HQ expansion and expects to get a green light this week, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported. It was approved by the city of Sunnyvale last fall.

While some Bay Area manufacturing firms such as Tesla have cut jobs or left town, Intuitive wants to expand operations. It will redevelop three sites on 32 acres on either side of Kifer Road, while consolidating its business operations in Sunnyvale.

To the north, it will construct a three-story, 364,000-square-foot office building on mostly vacant land between 945 to 955 Kifer Road. It will also build an 11,000-square-foot “amenity building” for employees.

The northern project would replace a parking lot and company fitness center.

To the south, it plans to build a three-story, 847,000-square-foot manufacturing and research-and-development building at 950 Kifer Road, according to a city staff report. It also plans to build a five-level parking garage for nearly 1,700 cars at 932 Kifer Road.

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The southern project will replace an abandoned 1960s era chemical plant once run by Mohawk Laboratories, and a 105,000-square foot R&D building built in 1986.

A 500-foot pedestrian bridge will span Kifer Road to link the office and the manufacturing plant.
The Intuitive expansion, designed by British architectural firm Foster + Partners, will feature curved roofs reminiscent of the upturned cornette featured in the 1960s TV series, “The Flying Nun.” Wall of paneled glass and angled skylights will mimic older factory buildings. Inside atriums will provide additional open space.

Completion is expected in 2024.

The Kifer Road project follows a 310,000-square-foot office and research-and-development building completed in October 2020 house the company’s instruments and accessories division.

Intuitive Surgical, founded in 1995, has 2,169 employees in Silicon Valley of 9,793 workers around the world. It’s the second largest medical device company in the Bay Area after Agilent Technologies of Santa Clara.

– Dana Bartholomew

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