Intuitive Surgical Continues to Expand its Sunnyvale Footprint, Looking to add 1.2MM SQFT Campus in Lawrence Station Plan Area

Sunnyvale, Lawrence Station, Lawrence Station Plan Area, Intuitive Surgical, Santa Clara

By Vladimir Bosanac

Sunnyvale’s Lawrence Station Plan Area has long been one of the city’s most important master-planned developments, and it has been years in the making. Over those years of planning, the city and its corporate partners have worked hard to develop the area, ease circulation, create open spaces and work on streetscape improvements. At the same time, the city also worked on bringing a strong presence of office and research and development and manufacturing development projects into the plan area. 

Intuitive Surgical, a NASDAQ 100 and S&P 500 member company that develops, manufactures and markets robotic products designed to improve surgical procedures, has been an especially important partner in the evolution of the Plan Area, and it has helped the city expand it. That expansion will be significant, because the Intuitive plans to develop a 1.2 million square foot campus in the this area, bringing a significant redevelopment of three underutilized parcels that will help the city grow its innovation chops.

According to the City of Sunnyvale, Intuitive is planning to redevelop three industrial properties that total 32.4 acres, located at 932, 950 & 945-955 Kifer Rd. In the process, the company will demolish two existing buildings and three accessory structures and construct two new three-story office / R&D / manufacturing buildings totaling 1,211,000 square feet. This will include 148,000 square feet of basement space and an 11,000 square-foot freestanding amenities building. The total combined FAR (floor area ratio) for the project will be 77 percent. 

The project also envisioned a five-level, above-ground parking structure with a 12,000 square-foot central utility plant, however in June of 2022, Intuitive submitted a modification to relocate an approved underground parking on the north site (945-955 Kifer Rd.) to a new parking structure on the adjoining property in the City of Santa Clara.

Permits for all this development work have been issues and they are valid until end of October 2036. Intuitive begah working with Foster + Partners on the design of the campus, which is now led by HOK and HKS.

Intuitive has begun some preliminary work on its evolving campus. The City issued the company a permit for work it is doing at 950 Kifer Rd. at the end of July of 2022. The total value of that initial part of the project is approximately $28.3MM, according to city documents. The work on the site includes grading, underground utility and foundation work for the south building.

Intuitive Surgical has its origins in a prototype surgical system that was developed in the late 1980s and during the 1990s as part of a non-profit research institute SRI International, which received funding from National Institutes of Health and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA. The latter was interested in the system’s potential to allow surgeons to operate remotely on soldiers wounded on the battlefield. Today, the company boasts annual revenue of $5.71 billion, according to its latest full-year results, and it employs over 7,000 workers.

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