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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO - YOUR BIOTECH PARTNER

The City of South San Francisco is the hub of the biotechnology industry in the United States. Located strategically near major biomedical research universities, banking and venture capital centers, the City is home to more than 200 of the most innovative and cutting-edge biotechnology companies. The City offers:

  • Nation’s largest biotech cluster with over 11.5 million square feet of R&D space currently in operation and nearly four million square feet approved or under construction.
  • Highly-skilled workforce from UC-San Francisco, Stanford University, UC-Berkeley, San Francisco State, and community colleges.
  • Most companies are in the medical sector specializing in research and development.
  •  Space available in the direct and secondary leasing market for start-up and growing mid-level companies.
  • REITS and Incubator Facilities developing cutting edge lab space for startup and graduating companies.
  • Transportation options include Caltrain, Ferry, employee shuttles, and BART.
  • City is constructing over 500 modern housing units in downtown and will construct another 1,200 units near transit hubs.
  • Ratio of privately-held to publicly-held biotechnology companies is 2:1, with over five firms transitioning to IPO in 2014-2016.

Research and Development Space in South San Francisco

The San Francisco Bay Area is consistently on the forefront of R&D opportunities due in large part to the real estate specifically catered to this market.  Cassidy/Turley reports that San Francisco County (Mission Bay) has 1,921,929 square feet classified for life science which is primarily in Mission Bay. Within the San Mateo County market, South San Francisco maintains the largest inventory of total square footage designated for office space, inclusive of available and leased space. South San Francisco has approximately 11.5 million square feet of Office/R&D space as reported by Cornish & Carey. In addition, South San Francisco has over 15 million square feet of industrial space that could be converted to R&D/lab space. If you combine all the space in the industrial area, then South San Francisco has the potential to develop 26 million square feet for R&D.

 

R&D

 

City

Inventory

Available Space (SF)

Total Availability

Rate

Total SF

Direct Lease

Sublease

 

Belmont

302,370

1,210

0

0.44%

Brisbane

272,962

0

0

0.00%

Burlingame

548,113

16,385

0

2.99%

Foster City

1,672,091

148,610

0

8.89%

Menlo Park

4,503,947

76,984

35,730

2.50%

Redwood City

2,605,045

41,112

25,996

2.58%

Redwood Shores

1,114,645

81,610

72,865

13.86%

San Carlos

812,941

9,928

0

1.22%

San Mateo

0

0

0

0.00%

South San Francisco

8,891,421

16,246

185,422

2.27%

TOTAL

20,436,339

746,639

638,064

 

 

Based on discussions with South San Francisco’s Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS), an occupancy rate of less than 5 percent translates to an impending boost in development.  In their 2014 first quarter report, Cassidy/Turley stated that a phenomenon is taking place in South San Francisco because this “represents the lowest amount of direct space available in the city in nearly eight years” (Cassidy/Turley, 2015). The low vacancy rate shows that South San Francisco is able to retain biotechnology companies, and new space demand will cause a portion of the three million square feet of entitled but unbuilt space to start construction in the near future.

Market Outlook

Over 20 thousand people are directly employed in the Biotechnology industry in South San Francisco.  Several factors make South San Francisco the ideal site for biotechnology companies. The geographic location of the biotech cluster places companies in close proximity to top research institutions and universities, including University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Stanford University, and University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Due to this proximity, biotech companies have the added convenience of institutional resources, thus recruiting and attracting innovation and talent.

Furthermore, South San Francisco boasts the quality of life that is expected in the Bay Area. The City facilitates multi-modal transportation to and from other cities in the region. Public transit is readily available via Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Caltrain, Samtrans, and SF Bay Ferry. By car, downtown San Francisco is minutes away. Even closer, downtown South San Francisco offers a wide range of dining and entertainment options which encourage lifestyle balance for the whole city, including those who work in biotech. Additionally, the San Francisco International Airport is adjacent to the City, making international travel to and from the cluster for business and leisure exceptionally convenient.

The local government is also highly supportive of the growth and sustainability of the biotech industry in the City. It is one of the City’s main economic development goals to best serve the unique needs of the biotech cluster through city services and infrastructure. In this effort, the City implements a practiced, streamlined permitting process which provides ease and efficiency for companies that choose to locate their business in the City. The City is also receptive to partnerships with companies, which in the past have led to programs such as Genentech Goes to Town, company public relations events, and participation at the annual BIO International Convention.

South San Francisco is a prime location for biotech companies at all sizes and stages. It has been long established as a lead cluster location for novel and multi-national companies alike, and benefits from exceptional capacities in both real estate and financial investment. Its diversity of R&D foci reflects the culture of innovation as well as long-term sustainability in the industry. Finally, its wide range of local services and regional infrastructure makes it an ideal place to conduct business and live.

US Biotech cluster locations

Biotech clusters are a geographically proximate group of companies and institutions in the biotechnology industry.  The cluster consists of a variety of companies that not only specialize in the four areas of biotechnology, but provide supportive services as well. A cluster can include product producers, service providers, suppliers, investment firms, and universities.  As the field of biotechnology increases in size, and complexity, analyzing markets by cluster geographies becomes ever-more important as it helps to reveal the expanding network of stakeholders.  California leads the nation in VC Funding, employment, research & development, and number of companies. The San Francisco Bay area leads California.

Our partners can help you locate the right space!

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The City of South San Francisco has partnered with three Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), HCP Inc., BioMed Realty, and SKS/Shorenstein, to promote available and future properties on 15 campuses located on approximately 500 acres in the industrial area of the city.

In total, the three REIT life science properties have a combined assessed value of over $3 billion dollars. If you include Genentech and Alexandria Real Estate, the assessed value of the city’s life science properties is closer to $5 billion dollars. Our life science properties are configured in business park formats and typically include multiple facilities and buildings. These campuses are home to various companies serving the life science industry, including:

Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Firms
Medical Devices Developers
Universities
Government and Research Agencies

The business park format gives our REITs the ability to provide flexible and contiguous expansion options that accommodate the growth of our clients that benefit from proximity to the Bay Area’s major research universities, commercial entities and capital partners.

Grow with US

The City is committed to your long-term success.

City planning and building staff are ready and able to facilitate tenant improvements and new construction for new and growing companies.

If you are interested in locating your business in our biotech hub contact:
Call: 650-829-6620
Email: ssfbiotech@ssf.net

Let our Biotech Advocate take you through the process and make your move an easy one.

25 Years of Achievement Booklet

 

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