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Old Posted Oct 7, 2009, 3:27 AM
WildCowboy WildCowboy is offline
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With the cancer research building opening earlier this year and the cardiovascular research building well underway, eyes now turn to the third building in UCSF's trifecta of focused research facilities, the neurosciences building slated for Block 19A, directly west of the existing Rock Hall.

This building has been on the table for what seems like forever. It was originally slated to be the third research building on the Mission Bay campus, but got bumped back to make room for QB3/Byers Hall when the state came forward with significant money for that initiative. Fundraising then directed priorities toward cancer and cardiovascular buildings, while the campus has struggled to raise money for the neuroscience building.

In an effort to kickstart the building's construction, UCSF scrapped the existing architectural plans and decided to pursue a partnership with developers who would lease the land from UCSF, build the facility on their own dime, and then lease the building back to UCSF. After 30 years, the building would transfer to UCSF.

The Regents have approved the plan and a consortium of developers led by McCarthy Cook (the developer behind China Basin) has been working with UCSF on a plan for the facility. The idea had been that construction could be started by late this year and have the facility ready to open in about mid-2011 on an accelerated timetable, around the same time as the opening of the CVRB.

A brief update today from the Business Times indicates that Chancellor Desmond-Hellmann is still reviewing the plans and finances before giving the final go-ahead. Hopefully it happens soon. I believe we noted a few months ago in this thread that the piles of dirt for surcharging the area around where this building is going to be have been removed, so it should be shovel-ready and things should move pretty quickly once the OK is given.

UCSF Ponders Neuroscience Building
Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 7:20pm PDT

One of the go/no-go decisions early in Susan Desmond-Hellmann’s UCSF chancellorship is about a structure — physically and financially.

Building a five-story, 237,000-square-foot neuroscience building on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus means committing to a unique plan that involves a private developer, a nonprofit entity that would float public bonds and signing a 30-year lease.

It could be one of the first — if not the first — buildings in the University of California system to cut costs by turning to a private developer, in this case a consortium that includes McCarthy Cook, to design, build and own a building on campus. After the lease expires, ownership would transfer to UCSF.

The last word we got at the end of September was from the associate vice chancellor of university relations, Barbara French, who said the business plan for the building is “being reviewed by the new chancellor prior to final approval.”

UCSF leaders in the spring had hoped to start construction on the project, next to Rock Hall, by the end of this year. It would house Nobel Prize winner Stan Prusiner and some 600 other researchers, staff, students and patients.

Prusiner would join UCSF’s latest Nobel Prize winner, Elizabeth Blackburn, on the Mission Bay campus.
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