Genentech speeds forth with yet another proposal 

Genentech is seeking approval to build a 280,000-square-foot two-building research complex on its Oyster Point campus, its fourth project in only eight months since the biotech giant gained approval from the city to double the campus’ size and add an estimated 6,000 workers.

Tonight, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and may vote on the two-building project, which would house a mix of laboratories and offices for what Genentech estimates will be several hundred employees. If it gains approval, Genentech will be free to begin constructing the five-story complex, built on top of an existing parking lot, company officials said.

"We’re making South San Francisco our core research and development area," said Genentech spokeswoman Kim Nguyen-Gallagher.

The two buildings will be connected by a bridge and will provide a connection to a nearby research building. The new complex would take approximately two years to build, Nguyen-Gallagher said.

On March 14, the City Council approved the biotech giant’s 10-year expansion plan, which 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.

The two-building research complex marks the firm’s fourth project since the approval: Genentech has already gained the go-ahead to construct a 151,000-square foot office building, a 52,000-square-foot child-care facility and a 168,000-square-foot processing building. The child-care facility should be completed next September, company officials said. Not including any of the latest projects, Genentech owns 2,815,000 square feet of property at Oyster Point.

The projects have been getting a quick approval from the city because they form part of the city-supported 10-year expansion plan, South San Francisco Associate Planner Gerry Beaudin said.

Though traffic on U.S. Highway 101 will be impacted because of the expansion, according to an environmental impact report, Genentech will pay the city $4.57 per square foot in traffic impact fees in accordance with the 10-year plan.

Maria Martinucci, president of the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, of which Genentech is a member, supports the development.

"Genentech is a great contributor to the chamber," Martinucci said. "They benefit the downtown, the community and the chamber."

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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