The latest news in development and construction
Taking Off in Miramar
Construction for BioLegend's new campus is underway.
Biotech firm BioLegend is on schedule and tracking right on budget — if not slightly under — for its new $100 million headquarters campus in the Miramar submarket of San Diego, Niklas Bandak, VP of program, project, and construction management for Hughes Marino, tells SoCal Real Estate. Bandak has been working with BioLegend since 2015 as project manager for the project, which began Phase 2 in April. We toured the site with him and Brad Kraus of DPR Construction, general contractor for the project, in late April.
The firm originally purchased the former 120,000-square-foot Sony headquarters in 2015 for what is reported to be $24 million. It comprises four parcels: three existing buildings (including the one that holds BioLegend's current headquarters) that are being overhauled and the demolition of a fourth to create a brand-new, four-story, 130,000-square-foot main building consisting of lab and office space. The completed campus will also feature a cul de sac and a bridge over the main driveway connecting the new building to a seven-story, 220,000-square-foot, 700-stall parking structure with entrances to the building on several levels.
The project was designed to be completed in phases. Phase 1 involved tenant improvements. "We reskinned the existing building with a new glass system, new lab space throughout the ground floor, and creative office space on the second floor," Bandak says.
Design for Phase 2 and processing of Phase 3 started at the same time. Phase 2 is the lion's share of the construction work for the campus project, completing both the new main building — which topped out steel in the spring — and the reskinning and tenant improvement of the existing southwest corner building, which is to house administrative offices and amenities, such as a commercial kitchen for employees. As part of Phase 2, the site work surrounding the new main building, parking garage, and existing amenity building will be upgraded to include a courtyard, bridges, outdoor meeting spaces, and community garden. Phase 2 is scheduled to be complete in March 2019.
Phase 3, or the street vacation of Terman Court, was processed while the team designed the Phase 2 campus project. The City of San Diego issued the grading permit and the successful vacation of Terman Court at the same time, kicking off the demolition of the existing 28,000-square-foot building at the northwest corner of the campus, which is being replaced by the parking garage. Terman Court has since been renamed BioLegend Way.
Additional amenities, such as an on-campus restaurant, a gym, a yoga room, and a green roof with folding doors when the weather is inclement, are also planned.
A combination of retail, restaurant, office, and residential spaces makes Flight a true neighborhood mixed-use project.
Image courtesy RAF Pacifica Group
As of early May, groundbreaking had not yet occurred for Flight, the first ground-up development on Cedros Avenue in coastal Solana Beach, California's celebrated design district, in several years. However, developer RAF Pacifica Group may have moved dirt by the time you read this.
Flight, a retail, office, and residential mixed-use podium development, is set to debut in spring 2019, according to the developer's website. It will feature 4,752 square feet of office space; 3,207 square feet of restaurant space; eight residential units ranging from 980 to 1,750 square feet (six two-bedrooms and two one-bedrooms); 7,983 square feet of office space; and 78 parking spaces. Some of the project's green features include photovoltaic panels for on-site electricity generation, electric-vehicle charging stations, and high-recycled-content materials throughout.
RAF Pacifica's description of Cedros Avenue is "an arts district with a vibrant and active art and music scene parallel to the Pacific Highway 101 in the quaint beach town of Solana Beach." President Adam Robinson, who has spearheaded a variety of creative office, Creative Industrial™ (a term trademarked by the firm), and mixed-use development projects for RAF Pacifica in the North County San Diego area in recent years — Dis•trib•ute, Vec•tor, El•e•vate, and Lift in Carlsbad alone — tells SoCal Real Estate that Flight will be the first ground-up development on Cedros that has a mixture of restaurant, retail, office, and residential space.
"It has strong ties to Solana Beach's surf and industrial heritage," Robinson says. "Cedros has been home to many talented architects, artists, and designers, so incorporating the spirit of the creative community into the development was very important. We wanted to create something that was authentic and inspired by the community, since it's such a unique destination within San Diego."
Robinson has said that RAF Pacifica is a unique developer because it focuses on the particular market it knows best — North County San Diego, where its principals live — rather than a particular asset class. When asked how developers can successfully get the go-ahead to develop projects like this in their preferred market, he says, "It's really hard to pinpoint an exact approach since every city is so different. It requires us as developers to remain active in the city in which the project we're developing is located and become and remain familiar with all the key players."
A rendering of one of the residential units at Flight, which benefits from its proximity to the beach and ocean views.
Image courtesy RAF Pacifica Group