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August 22, 2016

Chinese Developers Hope to Build a Life Sciences Campus


Greg Isaacson

The Chinese joint venture acquired their foothold on the California coast from local developers Shorenstein Properties and SKS Partners for a reported $171 million. The property is said to be the largest remaining contiguous development site in South San Francisco and is already approved for development of 12 separate R&D/Office buildings spanning some 2.25 million square feet (209,000 square meters), with construction slated to begin by mid-2018.

The project aims to serve as a campus for biotechnology companies, in an area that has become one of the world's leading biotech hubs.

Shorenstein Properties and SKS Partners, originally bought the site in 2008 for $84 million and have since partnered with the city of South San Francisco to invest in infrastructure including a $26 million passenger ferry terminal which started operations in 2013.

Kidder Mathews, which advised Greenland Group and Ping An on the transaction, sees a hot market for biotech property in the Bay Area, with available facilities struggling to meet the sustained growth in demand. The real estate firm reported that life science premises in San Mateo County, where Oyster Bay is located, had an overall vacancy rate of 1.37 percent in the second quarter, dropping 48 percent over the previous quarter due to "unrelenting leasing activity" from occupiers such as Merck and Calico Life Sciences.

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