Commission to vote on Genentech expansion plan 

The first buildings of Genentech’s massive expansion include new office space and a child care facility, and are the first steps toward the company dominating the industrial sector.

The South San Francisco Planning Commission will vote on plans for a 151,000-square foot office building and a 50,000-square foot child care facility tonight after a study session on the two items.

If Genentech expands to 200 acres, an option it has from its recently passed 10-year expansion plan, it would occupy one-third of the industrial area, located primarily east of U.S. 101 in South San Francisco.

But Genentech’s expansion from a single warehouse in 1979 to its current size of 124 acres and 2,827,000 square feet of space is beginning to draw the ire of some of its neighbors, who say the company’s growth is edging them out because of demand and big dollars offered by other biotech-oriented companies.

Genentech’s campus is located along Grandview Avenue in the heart of the industrial area and extends out toward Oyster Point and along its street, DNA Way.

The new five-story office building would add to the company’s current office total of 1,008,000 square feet.

The child care facility — proposed for the former See’s Candies warehouse at 444 Allerton Ave. — is expected to accommodate 500 children, and at 50,000 square feet would nearly double the current 69,000 square feet of space designed specifically for employee services.

On March 14, the City Council approved the biotech giant’s 10-year expansion plan that allows the company to grow to approximately 5,937,000 square feet on 163 acres, increasing the company’s presence by approximately 200 percent and generating 6,000 jobs in addition to the existing 8,200.

But as the company begins a new phase of growth, some who work in the area say smaller businesses are being squeezed out from the industrial area, and city officials said they were mindful of those concerns.

Carol Tellez, who has worked in the roughly 600-acre industrial area for 15 years and asked not to name her non-biotech employer, said that the smaller businesses are losing out to Genentech and other biotech growth.

"For the little people that work here, we can’t park because (Genentech) takes up everything," Tellez said.

City Council members are aware of these types of concerns, said Council Member Mark Addiego. If Genentech does expand to 200 acres, it would occupy one-third of the industrial area.

"There’s a general awareness of having all your eggs in one basket," Addiego said.

South City and local school districts can expect roughly $100 million in property taxes over the next ten years due to the development, and the biotech company’s employees are expected to spend $15 million during that same time at local South City businesses, according to company officials.

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