More Biotechs Moving to South San Francisco?

South San Francisco CA, April 19, 2022 ESC Correspondent Allie Saults

Are more biotechs coming to South San Francisco?

South San Francisco has been many things; from farmland to meatpacking to steel manufacturing, and today our City is proudly known as the  “birthplace of biotechnology,” boasting nearly 200 biotech companies occupying approximately 11.5 million square feet.

The word on the street is that a commercial real estate developer from Texas has been eyeing properties around the city for development into a life sciences complex. The area east of the 101 has become “the” hub for biotech over recent years and Trammell Crow is said to be negotiating deals with SSF officials in regards to warehouse property at 120 East Grand Avenue. “An entity registered to Trammell Crow entered into a sales agreement in December with Berkos Kitchen, the owner of a 21,921-square-foot warehouse at 120 E. Grand Ave., public records show. The 59-year-old warehouse is now home to custom foods co-packer Max’s Bakery and Kitchen.”

In addition to this property, the company is looking at three other properties, namely 145, 160 and 180 Sylvester Road for redevelopment. Reportedly Trammell Crow has entered into agreements with Baker Properties to procure a 200,000 square foot warehouse at 160 Sylvester Road, as well as a 10,000 square foot warehouse located at 180 Sylvester Road according to public record. Whether there is a contract in place to purchase a 38,000 square foot warehouse at 145 Sylvester Road is uncertain at this time.

A 21,900-square-foot warehouse at 120 East Grand Ave. is among four sites that Trammell Crow is working to redevelop.

A 21,900-square-foot warehouse at 120 East Grand Ave. is among four sites that Trammell Crow is working to redevelop.

Other developments include:

  • Alexandria Real Estate Equities based out of Pasadena has “plans to redevelop a 70,000-square-foot warehouse at 100 E. Grand Avenue into a research and development campus in collaboration with Prologis, owner of the property. The 5-acre project now awaits environmental review.”


  • “San Diego-based Phase 3 Real Estate Partners plans to replace a three-story Comfort Inn at 121 E. Grand Ave. into a 17-story, 940,000-square-foot office and R&D building. The 3-acre project awaits design review.”


  • “IQHQ, formerly known as Creative Science Properties, has staked out numerous projects for the area.”


  • “The Solana Beach-based firm plans to build a six-story, 353,000-square-foot R & D at 580 Dubuque Avenue. Plans filed last week show a 900,000-square-foot lab and office complex slated for 800 Dubuque Avenue, on an industrial property the company bought last year for $215 million.”


  • Alexandria Real Estate Equities is executing on plans to redevelop a 70,000-square-foot warehouse at 100 E. Grand. in collaboration with property owner Prologis into a new research and development campus. The developer last year submitted plans to transform the 5-acre site into a 10-story building, eight-story building and eight-story parking garage.


  • Crossing East Grand Avenue to the north of Trammell Crow’s potential development, Phase 3 Real Estate Partners is working to get city approval to transform a three-story Comfort Inn hotel located on a roughly 3-acre site 121 East Grand Ave. into a 17-story office and research and development building. The more than 940,000-square-foot project was first proposed in 2020, according to city officials, and is headed back to the city’s design review board in two weeks.


  • IQHQ made a proposal for a, “six-story office and research and development building at 580 Dubuque Ave. totaling 353,000 square feet — up from the original proposal of 213,000 square feet — is expected to head to the Planning Commission on April 21.”

IQHQ completed a deal at 900 Dubuque, the site of the Costco Business Center. There are rumors that the developer is looking to involve the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store located at 720 Dubuque Avenue. Recently, IQHQ proposed their plans for a previously purchased site located at 800 Dubuque to build a 900,000 square foot laboratory and office space. This is said to include, “three buildings rising 10, eight and five-stories in height, as well as an event center, a gym and food and beverage facility.”

What are your thoughts on the continuing development of South City?

Are you excited to see more development or are you longing for the small city it once was?


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Cory Alan David
Cory Alan David
1 year ago

Sure hope that when Biotech runs out of space on the East side of 101, forcing them to migrate to the West side, that all those pesky houses and residents don’t get in their way. As far as “longing” for the past, I long for the day when SSF had a city government composed of individuals who saw our city as a comfortable home for residents, not a chunk of property to be exploited by industry. Ask your city officials what selling the soul of our city has gotten us? Trust me, they don’t like giving answers.