Medical Technology Entities Expand–and So Does the Zoo

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor  The Bay Area has been seeing an uptick in medical technology deals. First there was Intuitive Surgical, which, in a three-building transaction, instantly expanded its prospects in the area. The 235,000 square feet it acquired is [...]

The Bay Area has been seeing an uptick in medical technology deals. First there was Intuitive Surgical, which, in a three-building transaction, instantly expanded its prospects in the area. The 235,000 square feet it acquired is in Sunnyvale, in the vicinity of its current headquarters. According to Jim Beeger, a Colliers senior vice president quoted by The Oakland Tribune, the buildings currently have active leases, but as those deals expire the company will be unveiling plans for redevelopment. Colliers International handled the acquisition alongside Intuitive; it declined to disclose the value of the deal.

Further evidence of the East Bay’s newfound attraction with the medical tech sector was a $30 million deal made by Investcorp for the Broadway-Webster Medical Plaza. Seller Scanlan KemperBard will retain a stake in the 98,000-square-foot medical and dental building, according to The San Francisco Business Times. The building is situated in the “Pill Hill” area of Oakland, known for its concentration of medical facilities and healthcare industry-destined buildings.

But the healthcare sector is not seeing the only activity in the region. A less usual source of expansion are plans to host the largest zoo in Northern California, after the first phase of the Oakland Zoo’s proposed $72 million expansion was green-lit by the Oakland City Council, The San Francisco Business Times reported. The expansion will mean more than doubling the existing 45-acre park by adding 56 acres, including a 17,000-square-foot veterinary hospital, which will be LEED certified.

The project faced its fair share of opposition, with the main argument against the expansion being the repurposing of a considerable amount of open space from Knowland Park. Such concerns have been brushed off because of the substantial amount of proceeds the zoo will bring to the area. The Oakland Zoo is already a consistent visitor destination, with around 650,000 in attendance last year, according to the Business Times.