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Public Policy Newsletter Article

San Francisco Planning Commission Considers Life Science Project – Biocom California Speaks on the Industry’s Resilience

  • 2020-12-03T16:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Melanie Cohn

On November 19th, the San Francisco Planning Commission approved Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ proposal to build a seven-story, 183,000-square-foot life science building on the last unplanned piece of developable land in Mission Bay. Alexandria will begin construction within the next 18 months.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the amendments for the project at the 1.1-acre site at 1450 Owens Street. Plans call for a 109-foot building containing about 133,000 square feet of laboratory use, 49,999 square feet of office and 2,600 square feet of ground-floor retail. No parking has been planned for the development.

To move ahead, Alexandria needed an amending of the decade-old Mission Bay South Redevelopment Plan to increase commercial and industrial leasable area from about 5.9 million to just over 6.1 million square feet. It also needed an amendment to the plan to up the allowed building height on the site, which was set at 39 feet.

At the Planning Commission, Biocom staff spoke about the need for additional life science space in Mission Bay, where laboratory space is in high demand and supply is limited. The life science industry in San Francisco continues to grow, while other industries that do not require onsite work have been fleeing the city.

This project reflects several years of thoughtful development with community input, and amenities that will serve the surrounding area. Along with extensive development fees, Alexandria has added non-required contributions to childcare and park maintenance. They are also providing a school endowment to fund a life science pathways program that will include hands on lab experience, internships, and tours of local companies for aspiring scientists.
Developing land for life science is vital to the city’s long-term economic stability and encouragement of industry growth.

The project now moves to the Board of Supervisors, with a final vote anticipated in January.