Genentech touts SSF’s benefits from expansion plan 

South City and the local school district can expect roughly $100 million during the next 10 years in property taxes if Genentech’s expansion goes according to plan, company officials said.

At the first hearing on the company’s master plan update Wednesday night, company officials said that local businesses could expect an additional $15 million from Genentech employees shopping and working in the area.

8,200 Genentech employees work in South San Francisco — 5 percent of those live in the city and 35 percent live in the surrounding communities of San Mateo County, said Steve Juelsgaard, executive vice president of Genentech.

"Altogether, those employees bring in $300 million in payroll to the area," Juelsgaard added.

The expansion is expected to bring in an additional 6,000 jobs according to staff reports, but those come with a price: traffic. A permanent increase in ambient noise from traffic and regional air quality will likely be a result of the influx, according to staff reports.

According to a report by CSG Consultants, a municipal consulting firm, 42 percent of Genentech employees are coming from northbound U.S. Highway 101 and 48 percent are coming from southbound 101, which will create "significant impacts" at the U.S. 101 onramps and offramps at Oyster Point Boulevard, as well as other locations, CSG consultant Cyrus Kianpour said.

At Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, South San Francisco officials hoped to encourage Genentech employees to find alternative methods of getting to work, something Genentech has already taken steps to accomplish, such as an expansion of shuttle programs.

"The only thing we can do is try and affect employees’ habits and how they get to their job sites," said Susy Kalkin, South San Francisco’s chief planner.

During the planning process, the city’s Planning Commission members urged expedited development triggers to spur quicker public improvements to open space areas at San Bruno Point Park and to local signage directing the public to the bayfront.

Originated in a single warehouse in 1979, the Genentech campus has grown from 72 acres in 1995 to its current size of 2,827,000 square feet on 124 acres.

The new master plan would allow the company to grow to approximately 5,937,000 square feet on 163 acres, more than doubling the company’s presence.

The council also discussed increasing the business licensing tax in the city to bolster city coffers in the coming years. Most businesses, including Genentech, in South City pay at most $1,000 annually to do business in the city. Any change to the tax would require a vote of approval from the public. The council did not discuss the tax before press time.

dsmith@examiner.com

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