(January 30, 2017)

Chinese developer proposes 1,200 units at South San Francisco’s $1B Oyster Point project – San Francisco Business Times

The Chinese developer behind one of the largest biotech projects in the Bay Area has proposed adding 1,191 residential units and 22,000 square feet of retail and amenity space to its prime 42-acre waterfront site in South San Francisco.

Greenland USA, which bought the site in August for $171 million, already has approvals for 2.25 million square feet of office and life sciences space at a project called the Landing at Oyster Point. But the company filed an application today to revise later phases of the project to include residential and retail uses.

“Due to the growing demand for housing in the region, we are exploring potential opportunities to include housing in later phases of the development and will be working closely with biotech, city and community to ensure this plan delivers on their vision for long-term growth,” said Taotao Song, CEO of Oyster Point Development LLC and executive vice president at Greenland USA, in a statement.

“We believe Oyster Point presents a number of opportunities to help meet the overall needs of the city and demands of the region. That’s why we’re studying the feasibility of an exciting mixed-use community to enhance the experience east of 101.”

The Business Times first reported that the company was considering adding housing to its massive waterfront development.

The state-owned developer said last summer that it expects to invest $1 billion in both the purchase and development of the site. Phase I will remain 500,000 square feet of commercial space — with infrastructure work expected to start in the third quarter of 2017. Phase II will be 1 million square feet of office/R&D buildings including approximately 28,000 square feet of retail, amenity and/or flex-use space, as originally conceived. Phases III and IV would add the residential and retail space.

Any changes to the plan will require new approvals. The push to build housing in the area comes as the life sciences industry is expected to add 18,000 new jobs in the next three years within the city. The biotech community is worried about recruiting and retaining employees faced with astronomical housing costs and crushing commutes.

Greenland isn’t the only developer looking at building housing in the area East of Highway 101. Industrial developer Prologis also asked the city recently about rezoning one of its industrial parcels for residential development, said Economic and Community Development Director Alex Greenwood in early January.

The city is currently studying the feasibility of allowing housing in two areas east of Highway 101, which has traditionally been defined by life sciences and industrial businesses. Officials are looking at areas around the future Caltrain station and the current ferry terminal. Some officials expressed concern in early January about the possibility of putting housing near the city’s thriving biotech campuses.