IQHQ Tops Out Bay Area Life Science Building

In 2022, the developer took out a $275 million construction loan for this project.

The development at 580 Dubuque Ave. in South San Francisco, Calif.
Spur Phase One will measure 330,000 square feet across eight stories. Image courtesy of McCarthy Building Cos. Inc.

IQHQ has topped out Spur Phase One, a 330,000-square-foot life science building in South San Francisco, Calif. Completion of the eight-story development is anticipated by early 2025.

Partners on the Class A project include general contractor McCarthy Building Cos. Inc., architect Perkins & Will, structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates and VFR, which is the owner’s representative. Cushman & Wakefield is handling leasing, according to CommercialEdge data.

In November 2022, IQHQ took out a $275 million construction loan originated by Apollo Global Management, the same source shows. The developer expects to finish the exterior phase in September.

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The high-tech life science building will be fully electric and include a mechanical penthouse on the roof and a below-grade, four-level parking structure. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the facility will feature floorplates averaging 35,000 square feet, as well as a fitness center, bike storage, café, conference room and lobby reception area. Its sustainable components will comprise daylighting usage, bioretention and recycled water irrigation.

The transit-oriented, speculative building is rising on almost 2 acres at 580 Dubuque Ave., close to Highway 101 and the South San Francisco Caltrain Station. Downtown San Francisco is 2 miles from the site, while the Alexandria Center for Advanced Technologies-South San Francisco campus, where a drug development company recently signed an early lease renewal, is 1 mile away.

IQHQ also has a 900,000-square-foot, three-building project planned for a nearly 6-acre site at 800 Dubuque Ave., CommercialEdge shows. Development costs were estimated at $1.3 billion, according to SF YIMBY.

San Francisco’s office sector faces headwinds

The San Francisco metro saw almost 5.8 million square feet of office space under construction as of February, according to the latest CommercialEdge office report. However, the market’s vacancy rate clocked in at 24 percent, rising 480 basis points year-over-year. Additionally, San Francisco is still leading the region in terms of average rent—$59.81 per square foot—although the value dropped 11.1 percent year-over-year.

In December, Healthpeak Properties received approval of entitlements for the second and third phases of Vantage, an approximately 1.7 million-square-foot life science campus also in South San Francisco. The development’s first phase included two build-to-suit properties totaling 343,000 square feet and a 40,000-square-foot amenity building.

A few months earlier, Forge Development’s plans for the construction of a 900,000-square-foot life science park moved forward. Dubbed Berkeley Forge, the development will rise on 10 acres and consist of eight buildings.

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