Oyster Point offices could jam South San Francisco streets 

A proposed office and research complex at Oyster Point Marina could significantly slow traffic at several intersections and freeway ramps, according to a new report.

Recently released environmental studies for the Oyster Point Specific Plan, which would add 2.3 million square feet of buildings to the burgeoning biotech area, found that traffic volume would increase — from 1.7 percent to 54 percent — near at least 10 street locations around the project.

Those traffic effects are among the 72 consequences named in the environmental impact report for the plan, which city officials hope will “transform Oyster Point from an under-utilized local area to an active and vital area” that includes new parks and a rejuvenated marina, according to a report from Associate Planner Gerry Beaudin.

The city hopes the 80-acre plan will support the $26 million ferry terminal currently under construction and build on the success of other biotech companies in the area, including industry giant Genentech.

“It’s a network, and if you are in that game you want to be where other people of like mind and interest are,” City Councilman Mark Addiego said.

South City residents will get a chance to weigh in on the potential impacts of the project — a partnership between the city, SKS Investments and development firm Shorenstein — at a Planning Commission meeting tonight and can send comments through March 10.

The developer is seeking approval for the first 10-acre phase of the project, which includes three buildings totaling 500,000 to 600,000 square feet, a 3-acre crescent-shaped beach and a 3-acre recreation area.

Environmental consultant Lamphier-Gregory found 18 of the 72 listed impacts — including decreased air quality, increased greenhouse gas emissions, construction noise and 15 traffic impacts — could not be reduced enough to be considered insignificant.

At Oyster Point and Gateway boulevards, the 30-second delay time in today’s morning commute would increase to 91 seconds by 2015 with the completion of previously planned or approved projects, including the 1.2 million-square-foot Gateway master plan. When the Oyster Point Specific Plan and its estimated 6,440 workers are added, that delay would go up to 130 seconds, according to the report.

By 2035, 10 intersections would be gridlocked during the morning or afternoon commutes — or both — with some of the worst delays at Oyster Point and Veterans Boulevard; Oyster Point and Eccles Avenue; and East Grand Avenue and Gateway Boulevard, according to the report.

Addiego said some of the employers at Oyster Point have around 30 percent of employees using mass transit, which would help ease traffic impacts.

“Were not fearful of that situation,” Addiego said. “We think we can address it using the prescription that’s already been successful.”


Under construction

The plan to revamp South San Francisco’s Oyster Point Marina includes a variety of businesses:

Existing features to remain

  • Oyster Point Bait and Tackle: 1,440 square feet
  • Oyster Cove Marina: 235 berths
  • Oyster Point Marina: 600 berths

Phase I

  • Office, R&D building: 508,000-600,000 square feet
  • Auxiliary commercial: 10,000 square feet
  • Oyster Point Marina Beach: 3.1 acres
  • Recreation area: 3 acres

Additional phases

  • One or two new hotels: 350 rooms
  • Hotel commercial-retail-restaurant: 40,000 square feet
  • Phase II offices-R&D: 700,000 square feet
  • Phase III offices-R&D: 525,000 square feet
  • Phase IV offices-R&D: 517,000 square feet

Source: City of South San Francisco

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Shaun Bishop

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