Construction on Kaiser Permanente's large new San Rafael medical office building project is set to get started this spring.

San Rafael City Council on Sept. 17 approved Kaiser’s proposal to transform a three-story, 148,000-square-foot structure at 1650 Los Gamos Drive into a medical office building. It will have an adjoining 433-space, three-story parking garage. Kaiser purchased the 11.1-acre property, part of the Marin Commons office complex, in August 2015 for $22 million.

"We are working through the interior improvement design with our design team and construction team," said Mark Tortorich, vice president of national facility services for the Oakland-based health system. "We also anticipate construction of the new parking garage to start in the spring."

The project will allow Kaiser to consolidate outpatient services from its nearby San Rafael Medical Center at a location with quick access on and off Highway 101. That's what Judy Coffey, senior vice president and Marin-Sonoma service area manager, told city officials in a letter dated Sept. 13, submitted ahead of the council meeting.

"Completion of the Project will allow for the modernization of the Hospital clinical spaces over time as needed, ultimately injecting another $20-$50 million into the Hospital campus over the next 5-10 years," she wrote.

Planning for the inside of the facility appears to coincide with the launch of Vantis, a new San Francisco Bay Area commercial tenant-improvements construction company. One Workplace, an office furniture dealer region with $400 million in annual sales, announced the spinoff of Vantis on Jan. 8.

Vantis said it has $33 million in initial projects in Northern California and beyond. On its website (, the company said it plans to work on a 145,000-square-foot, three-story medical facility in San Rafael in the latter half of this year. That project, the company said, would have 79 provider offices and 116 patient care rooms for primary medicine, OB/GYN, dermatology, specialty medicine, ophthalmology and optometry.

A Vantis spokesperson wouldn't confirm it is working on the 1650 Los Gamos project.

Leading the 27-person new Vantis venture is Ryan Ware.

“One Workplace has long provided space planning, design and construction services to create spaces that inspire people and transform organizations,” said Mark Baker, chief operating officer of One Workplace, in the spinoff announcement. “But the opportunity for commercial interior construction services as a complement and as a niche business is so large and compelling that it makes sense for Vantis to be a separate company in order to become a leader in the market.”

One of Vantis’s touted selling points is taking designs envisioned with clients to reality via off-site construction. The company claims that by having the work done mostly at a different location it can complete jobs faster, less intrusively and help project owners hit green-building certification targets more easily.

To build the interior and workstation walls and other elements, Vantis has partnered with DIRTT Environmental Solutions, a Calgary-based publicly traded company that specializes in factory-built custom interiors. DIRTT has multiple facilities in the U.S. and Canada, according to the Vantis spokesperson.