Development may fill Sierra Point 

Looking to turn the isolated area of Sierra Point into an attractive destination for workers and travelers to the city’s Bay shores has prompted a spurt of development proposals for

Brisbane’s currently isolated land.

A huge, 800-unit resort and condominium unit could join a new 500,000-square-foot biotechnology park on Sierra Point as the preliminary steps in creating a more inviting atmosphere on the land.

Universal Paragon Corp., which also owns the 660-acre Baylands area in Brisbane, has applied to develop a 400-room hotel and 400 condominiums on the northeast corner of the point.

The $500 million development could entail two 14-story towers to house the resort and condos, and Universal Paragon would need to either trade with or acquire land from the city to add an additional four acres to the site, bringing the total acreage to 11, said Steve Hanson, Universal Paragon general manager.

Brisbane wants a hotel in the Bay shores but the project is only feasible to Universal Paragon if the city’s General Plan is amended to allow residential development as well, Hanson said.

Another proposal has been offered by Slough Estates U.S.A., a property development company with a large presence on Oyster Point in South San Francisco. The firm is looking to build a 540,000-square-foot research and development space on Sierra Point, a project that dwarfs the largest life sciences space in Brisbane.

Sierra Point is an area detached from downtown Brisbane and its residents. With Sierra Point’s bayfront property, officials have begun to envision a "user-friendly" public space with Bay access and parks, said John Swiecki, the principal planner for Brisbane.

"I think it’s kind of perceived that there’s a missed opportunity out there, and [the city] is trying to make the most of [Sierra Point]," Swiecki said.

Hanson called the site "ideal" because of its location between San Francisco International Airport and The City. "If you like to live on the water, this site is on the water with beautiful views," he said. "There is, of course, public access out there now, but it is sort of desolate at this point."

The resort and condos, if built, would help the continued growth of the biotechnology industry in that area because people would have a place to live on that side of U.S. Highway 101, said Gregg Domanico, a managing partner specializing in life science space with NAI BT Commercial, a commercial real estate firm. "Anything we can do from the airport north will be a plus," Domanico said.

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