Biotech to grow up green at Sierra Point 

A massive biotech campus will soon be making its home at Brisbane’s isolated Sierra Point Industrial Park, bringing 1,800 jobs to a city with less than 4,000 residents and establishing an environmental standard for future projects.

The Brisbane City Council unanimously approved the five-building research-and-development site Monday after developer HCP agreed to commit $1.8 million toward renewable energy generation in the city. HCP will spend $1.5 million on generating solar or wind power at the research-and-development campus and donate $300,000 toward installing solar panels at Brisbane’s new city hall.

The city’s biotech campus will appear on 23 acres at Shoreline Court and Sierra Point Parkway as early as next year. It will include 540,185 square feet of R&D space, a five-level garage and additional parking spaces. There will also be 15,000 square feet of retail and an extension of the Bay Trail, which runs along the industrial park.

"It’s going to be a good addition to Brisbane," Councilmember Clarke Conway said. "It’s going to bring more jobs, property tax revenues and people staying in hotels and frequenting the restaurants."

John Swiecki, the city’s chief planner, called the project a logical extension of the biotech hub at Oyster Point, located in South San Francisco.

Swiecki said that just like Oyster Point, the project may increase traffic on U.S. Highway 101 by as much as 3 percent, but freeway capacity is already exceeded with or without the project.

The HCP development is the first to abide by the city’s new green building code established in December. Swiecki said the project will be an example of a commercial building going green.

"It’s pretty aggressive in terms of what’s required elsewhere of private development," he said.

Although it will not be able to generate enough energy to sustain itself, its carbon footprint will be less than what is consumed by a standard office building, Conway said.

"As we go along in development, you’re going to see more and more of [environmentally conscious development] in Brisbane," the council member said.

The city is now considering bringing in a hotel and a public plaza to complete the marina that has been scheduled for development since the 1980s.

svasilyuk@sfexaminer.com

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