IQHQ Acquires Site for Bay Area Life Science Project

2 min read

This mixed-use development will also feature office and residential space.

Elco Yards, Redwood City
Elco Yards. Image courtesy of IQHQ Inc.

Life science property developer IQHQ Inc. has acquired Elco Yards, a fully entitled development site in downtown Redwood City, Calif., between San Francisco and San Jose, the company announced Monday.

The mixed-use Elco Yards district reportedly is the first large-scale office and life science development site in central downtown Redwood City and will expand on IQHQ’s ongoing Bay Area development efforts.

The seller was Greystar, an IQHQ spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. The purchase price was not disclosed.


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The development will feature four buildings totaling about 600,000 square feet and two residential buildings totaling 540 units; all are intended to be LEED Gold certified.

Greystar will be IQHQ’s development partner for the residential buildings. Redwood City Mayor Diane Howard noted in a prepared statement that the 540 residential units are “much-needed” in Redwood City and will include 147 affordable housing units.

The project will also include more than an acre of public outdoor space, and plans include a new landscaped pedestrian- and bike-friendly path along Redwood Creek, extending from El Camino Real to Lathrop Street.

The site is along El Camino Real, near the Caltrain corridor, and a long-time location for used-car dealerships and auto repair shops. “Elco” comes from a nickname for the classic Chevrolet El Camino, the 1960s hybrid of a coupe and pickup truck.

Biotech hub

In September of last year, IQHQ broke ground on the 8-acre, $1.5 billion Research and Development District, on San Diego’s waterfront.

And last November, IQHQ completed a $1.7 billon equity raise, earmarked to help finance 4.4 million square feet of development in Boston, San Francisco and San Diego.

As an indicator of the Bay Area’s strength as a biotech and pharma hub, from 2016 through 2020, the University of California, San Francisco; Stanford University; and the University of California, Berkeley collectively received roughly $6.4 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health, according to a report from Cushman & Wakefield.

“Market demand has created a continually landlord-favorable market,” the report states, and developers have responded vigorously, with 5.2 million square feet of deliveries over the last six years, 3 million now under construction and more than 16 million at various stages of planning. The vast majority of this construction is speculative.

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