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Edwards Grows HQ After $36M Land Buy Next Door

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has proposed a major expansion of its Irvine headquarters, paving the way for Orange County’s largest public company to add hundreds of jobs to its local operations.

The medical device maker, whose market valuation is $28.7 billion, recently filed plans with the city to build two office and laboratory buildings, an employee amenities facility, and a parking structure on 7.6 acres next to its current headquarters on Red Hill Avenue.

The buildings would total about 471,450 square feet and be built in three phases over a period of years, city records indicate.

Office, lab, manufacturing, warehouse and other space at Edwards’ (NYSE: EW) current 26-acre campus totals 660,475 square feet. About half of the 4,000 employees there are in manufacturing, which makes Edwards one of the county’s biggest manufacturers.

Some existing space would be modified or slightly reduced during construction, ultimately bringing total space at the expanded campus to just over 1 million square feet, according to city filings.

By comparison, that’s roughly the same amount of space at the recently built, four-building Five Point Gateway in Irvine, the largest office development built in the city in over a decade.

A new five-level parking structure for 1,376 cars would replace a 304-space parking lot, bringing up total campus parking about 25% to 4,096.

Edwards employs about 4,350 people in Orange County, according to Business Journal data. It’s OC’s 15th-largest employer.

The company makes products for treating structural heart disease, specializing in artificial heart valves and critical-care and surgical monitoring devices.

It also leases office space elsewhere in Irvine and bought a few other offices near its headquarters in recent years.

Royalty Carpet Redo

A construction schedule hasn’t been disclosed. The proposed expansion was filed with Irvine’s planning department last month.

Edwards is working with Irvine-based architecture firm LPA Inc. on the project.

The construction would be at 17111 Red Hill Ave. at the intersection of Red Hill and Alton Parkway on property that was previously the headquarters of Irvine-based Royalty Carpet Inc.

The carpet manufacturer closed abruptly last year, and put the property on the market for sale, along with other nearby properties in late June, real estate records show. Edwards paid a Royalty Carpet affiliate $36 million, or $4.7 million an acre for the site.

The deal was the third-largest sale of an industrial property in the county during the quarter, according to data in this week’s Business Journal Commercial Real Estate special report, which starts on page 63.

3-Story Office First

The existing 205,413-square-foot industrial and office building at the site would be replaced with a three-story office totaling 245,300 square feet. It would include 182,800 square feet of office and lab space, 31,350 square feet of manufacturing space, and 31,350 square feet for other uses, city filings show.

The second phase would add a two-story cafeteria and conference building totaling 57,850 square feet, and the final phase would add the parking structure and a four-story building on Alton with 168,300 square feet that would largely be made up of office-focused space, including creative-office elements.

The proposal comes about a year after Edwards completed a revamp of the existing headquarters, a multiyear project that modernized facilities and made room for growth.

Changes include amenities such as a new cafe and a walking track around Edwards’ “Central Park” that’s utilized for walking meetings and employee breaks.

The company also has significant operations in Utah, Puerto Rico, Europe, Asia and the Dominican Republic.

It closed a manufacturing plant in Switzerland this year after the lease expired.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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