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San Francisco Propositions F and G, Hunters Point Shipyard, Shorenstein Properties, SKS Development, MedImmune, Fluor, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, Suffolk Construction, Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County , GenVec, Fort Vall

San Francisco Voters Back Lennar Mixed-Use Development Plan, Including Tech Space, in Pair of Proposition Votes
San Francisco voters last week sided with the city government’s support of Miami developer Lennar’s $1 billion mixed-use plan for the city’s last undeveloped expanse — the Hunters Point Shipyard, a former Navy outpost on San Francisco Bay — through a pair of referenda.
Majorities of voters on June 3 approved Proposition G, which allows the city to begin detailed reviews of the redevelopment once Lennar submits formal site plans; and rejected Proposition F, which would have required Lennar to abide by a series of stipulations in return for redeveloping the shipyard site — including marketing half the project’s residential units as below-market “affordable” housing [BRN, June 2].
Lennar and city officials, led by Mayor Gavin Newsom, favored Prop G, which calls for between 2 million and 3 million square feet of space for life sciences employers and “green” technology businesses at the Hunters Point site. That range is subject to San Francisco coming to terms with the 49ers pro football team on an agreement for a new stadium on 25 acres of Lennar’s 770-acre project site.
But if the 49ers follow through on plans to strike a deal with the neighboring city of Santa Clara — essentially a new stadium in return for tax breaks — Lennar would then build on the 25 acres up to 2 million additional square feet of life sciences or green-tech space.
In addition to the green-tech space and possible new football stadium, Lennar would redevelop the former Hunters Point Shipyard with between 8,500 and 10,000 housing units, about 700,000 square feet of retail space, over 300 acres of public parkland and open space, and possibly an arena or other public performance site.
Prop F supporters said the affordable housing was needed to ensure the mostly working class and black residents of the Bayview neighborhood would also join Lennar and the city in benefiting from redevelopment of the area, located near the Mission Bay life sciences campus, as well as the home field of the city’s National Football League franchise.
But Lennar and Newsom called Prop F a poison pill that would effectively kill the shipyard project by costing the developer more than $1 billion.

Shorenstein, SKS in $85M Contract for South San Francisco’s 375-389 Oyster Point Blvd.
A joint venture of Shorenstein Properties and SKS Development is in contract to shell out $85 million for the largest existing undeveloped biotech site in South San Francisco, the San Francisco Business Times reported. and is in contract to shell out $85 million for the largest existing undeveloped biotech site in South San Francisco, the reported.
Shorenstein and SKS have agreed to acquire 375-389 Oyster Point Blvd., a site consisting of 400,000 square feet of industrial buildings as well as a 235-berth marina. The property could be approved for 1 million square feet of waterfront biotech research and development space, according to the Business Times, which cited a flier from a commercial real estate brokerage marketing the property, NAI BT Commercial.
While the site is unlikely to be redeveloped for several years pending local reviews and market conditions, the transaction reflects continued interest by Shorenstein and SKS in building their regional life sciences portfolio.
In 2005, Shorenstein joined SKS in snapping up the 450,000-square-foot former Esprit warehouse site at 409-499 Illinois St., in San Francisco’s Mission Bay section. The venture is completing its redevelopment of the site, with FibroGen of South San Francisco expected later this year to move its headquarters and its R&D operations to 239,000 square feet at 409 Illinois.

MedImmune Says Biologics Plant Construction on Track, as New Contractor Joins Project
A MedImmune spokesman told Maryland Community Newspapers last week that construction of the company’s new 710,000-square-foot biologics manufacturing facility in Frederick, Md., ison track for occupancy by early 2009, and still within its roughly $250 million budget.
Spokesman Tor Constantino also told the newspaper group it had added a co-general contractor, Fluor of Irving, Tex., to assist the project’s initial general contractor Parsons with ‘‘the scope, the scale and the complexity” of the biologics plant, though Parsons will remain on the project.
The biologics plant broke ground in September 2006 at 636 Research Drive, next to MedImmune’s original facility. The new plant was designed to increase the company’s cell culture production and has been projected to create 225 jobs in support of a $170 million, five-year award from the US Department of Health and Human Services to develop influenza vaccines for pandemic and seasonal purposes.
Other MedImmune notes:
  • Coakley & Williams Construction of Gaithersburg, Md., has won a contract to perform interior architectural work for the manufacturing facility. Coakley & Williams previously worked on MedImmune’s 25,000-square-foot pilot lab in Gaithersburg and is under contract to renovate two additional labs.
  • MedImmune said it has hired 400 of its 800 planned new employees so far this year, as part of a growth effort that followed its acquisition by British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca last year. MedImmune now has 1,000 employees in Maryland: 775 in Gaithersburg, 225 in Frederick.

Contractor: Construction on Torrey Pines’ Florida Facility Three Months Ahead of Schedule, ’79 Percent’ Complete
Suffolk Construction, general contractor for the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies research facility under construction in Port St. Lucie, Fla., said it is three months ahead of schedule, and plans to complete the project in October rather than January 2009.
Construction of the more than 100,000-square-foot facility is “79 percent” complete, Suffolk said in a June 2 press release. The most recent progress includes theinstallation of all HVAC and electrical equipment, lab casework, fume hoods, cold rooms, cage washers, autoclaves, and irrigation lines.
Among components of construction now in progress, according to Suffolk:
  • The parking lot, where the first layerof asphalt is completed.
  • The vivarium, 95 percent of which is complete and ready to be occupied.
  • The installation of millwork finishes and trim in the lobby area.
  • The installation of ceiling tile.
  • The start of installation of ceramic tile in all bathrooms.
  • Test and balance work on the facility’s chilled water system.

St. Lucie County EDC Confirms Talks With Two Biotech Prospects
Larry Pelton, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County, confirmed at a member luncheon last week that his group is in talks with two biotechnology companies that have expressed interest in relocating to the area.
Pelton would not name the companies, but told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers after the luncheon the EDC hopes to make announcements about both companies by the end of the year: "We're very encouraged by the response, especially related to the life-science cluster.”
He told the newspapers that biotech institutes were still showing interest in relocating to the Florida Center for Innovation, within Post St. Lucie’s Tradition master-planned community, despite the Florida Legislature's recent elimination of the Innovation Incentive Fund in order to close a $2 billion budget shortfall [BRN, May 5].

Maryland Biotech Seeks New HQ of 60,000+ Sq. Ft.
GenVec, a Gaithersburg, Md., cancer treatment and vaccine developer, is searching for a new headquarters in anticipation of future company growth, the Washington Business Journal reported.
The 120-person company is weighing whether to stay at its current 45,000-square-foot facility in Montgomery County, and fill out the building's remaining warehouse space, or pursue 60,000 square feet or more of new headquarters space. GenVec occupies its current space, at 65 West Watkins Mill Road, under a lease set to expire in November 2009.
Richard Rhodes, managing principal for GenVec’s commercial real estate brokerage CresaPartners, told the Business Journal the company is narrowing down its list of space options: “We're evaluating all of the possibilities for them right now," he said.
GenVec is recruiting patients for the third phase of clinical trials for its lead product, a treatment for pancreatic cancer, and is looking toward commercializing the drug.

Georgia’s Fort Valley State U Breaks Ground on Agricultural Biotech Center
Fort Valley State University’s College of Agriculture, Home Economics and Allied Programs has broken ground on a new $3.1 million Agricultural Biotechnology Center set to specialize in biofuels. The new 8,000-square-foot facility has been funded by the US Department of Agriculture and is set to open in the fall of 2009.
FVSU President Larry Rivers joined with life sciences industry leaders and state and local officials to break ground for the facility May 29, on the Stallworth Agricultural Research Station’s lawn on Carver Drive, across from the Wildcat Stadium parking lot.
The facility, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will have four laboratories and a lecture hall that can accommodate more than 100 people. It will be utilized to expand existing research efforts focusing on plant biotechnology, animal biotechnology and applied biotechnology including alternative energy.
Rivers told WPGA-TV the facility, as well as a planned $20 million science building, are two of several projects designed to draw more students to FVSU: “My goal over the next three or four years is to expand the enrollment here at Fort Valley State to about 5,000."

Philadelphia Research Building Sale Among Nominees for CBRE AANG ‘2007 Deal of the Year’
The sale of a research building in Philadelphia’s University City section was among nominees forCB Richard Ellis African American Network Group’s 2007 Deal of the Year, recognized recently at AANG’s 4th Annual Conference.
UrbanAmerica, a New York urban real estate investment firm represented by Michael Blunt of CBRE’s Philadelphia office, sold the 18-story, 435,352-square-foot 3535 Market St. to ProMed-Market LLC for $110.5 million, in a deal completed in May 2007.
UrbanAmerica acquired the building in 2003 for $80 million from the Townsend Group of Towson, Md. Occupants include the Joseph Stokes Jr. Research Institute of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which occupies four floors used by its Center for Clinical Research, and administrative offices for its Clinical and Translational Research Center and Biostatistics and Data Management Core.
The winning deal was last year’slargest sales transaction in Albuquerque, NM — the sale of a $93.5 million, 25-property office and industrial portfolio totaling 570,000 square feet by the Chant family to BGK Group of Santa Fe, NM. CBRE’s New Mexico and Dallas offices were involved in that transaction.

Johns Hopkins Spinout Iatrica Leases 1,200 Sq. Ft. at Forest City’s Rangos Building
Iatrica, a Johns Hopkins University biotechnology spinout company, has agreed to lease 1,200 square feet at the new John G. Rangos Building within the 1.1 million-square-foot Science + Technology Park, the Baltimore Business Journal reported.
Launched in 2007, Iatrica is a developer of immunotherapies for preventing and treating cancer.
JHU and Forest City celebrated the completion of the $54 million, 278,000-square-foot Rangos building, 855 N. Wolfe St., in April [BRN, April 14]. Other tenants at the Rangos building include the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Cangen Biotechnologies; and BioMarker Strategies, a nonprofit biomedical research and science education institute.
Science + Technology Park is part of a $1.8 billion mixed-use community being developed in a venture between Forest City Science + Technology Group and a consortium of residential developers.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.