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  #321  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2008, 7:38 PM
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I dont know if this is really good news or really bad news for those hoping for the giants plan....

Play ball: Looks like the San Francisco Giants and a group headed by political wheeler-dealer Darius Anderson won't be battling each other for the rights to develop a ballpark village next to AT&T Park after all.

Instead, the two sides appear to be planning a merger.

Although neither side is commenting for the record, sources tell us both groups had doubts about the financial viability of their plans - and that getting into a bidding war wasn't likely to make things any easier.

Hence, we're told the Giants approached Anderson about a merger. That could place them in a stronger position to win concessions from the port, which owns the land.

Stay tuned.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BA4F11VNL8.DTL
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  #322  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 1:10 AM
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I personally dont like the sound of this. That Giants plan was gorgeous, but I wonder what kind of changes, if any, will be made. However, as you say, it could be either really good news or really bad news.
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  #323  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2008, 1:44 PM
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if it means we get something on the site, instead of nothing, thats good news to me
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  #324  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2008, 1:01 AM
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John King on Arterra...

Quote:
Mission Bay condominium complex stands out
Monday, August 4, 2008



Architecturally ambitious buildings - how can I put this? - tend to be terrible flirts.

They woo us with alluring images, brash and bold or soft and demure, depending on whether they're supposed to turn on the heat or settle into the landscape. Then comes the letdown - real life: The colors are flat, the taut lines sag, and everything that promised to be distinctive looks as generic as can be.

That's why the Arterra condominium complex in San Francisco's Mission Bay redevelopment district is such a welcome surprise. It's not a masterpiece, but it's a stylish newcomer with compact flair. And get this: It looks better in person than in the pictures.

The Arterra's centerpiece is a 16-story tower on Fifth Street designed as two squat interlocking cubes, one white and one dark blue. A six-story wing extends along Berry Street. A nine-story piece lines King Street where Interstate 280 touches down.

These dimensions aren't made for heroic architecture; they're dictated by the overall guidelines for Mission Bay's swath of former rail yards near the Giants ballpark. The guidelines were written to protect neighboring views and ensure well-landscaped streets, but they've spawned a procession of large residential buildings that range from mediocre to mundane.

The difference at Arterra is a mind-set that can be applied to any fast-changing city or suburb where budgets and zoning constraints rule out titanium-plated flamboyance: Keep things simple and make the details shine.

The tower by Kwan Henmi Architecture/Planning for Intracorp San Francisco doesn't fall into the trap of trying to make a stocky form look like a skyscraper - the type of illusion that works only in the make-believe of architectural imagery.

Instead, Arterra is all about solids and voids, notched recesses, contrasts that gleam. Literally. The outer layer of the building's skin is a European product, Trespa, made of resin and recycled paper. The blue is a deep blue. The white has a lacquered shine. Where windows pull back from the outer wall, the shift is accented by orange panels that stop just this side of lurid.

Trespa's green quotient is part of a sustainability push that's emphasized in Arterra's marketing (the roof of the Berry Street wing is covered in grasses, for instance). And by avoiding the district's beige and gray norm - greige? - Arterra is bound to stand out.

But sleek panels wouldn't matter if they wrapped yet another drab slab. That's where the contrasts add a tailored snap. Some of the windows are recessed 18 inches within the blue cube and some aren't. The white portions of the cube all have windows flush with the paneled skin.

The sense of depth is honest: Design architect Faraaz Mirza at Kwan Henmi took the seismic need for a thick concrete frame and treated it as a sort of grid, pulling some rooms out and nudging others back in. But the specific pattern is artifice - "just me playing," Mirza said during a tour of the project last week. "We went back and forth until we weren't allowed any more time."

That spirit is what the illustrations didn't convey. You search for rhythms in the set-back windows, syncopation in the orange strokes. The punched squares of deep blue make the white facades look streamlined rather than flat.

Is there a cost premium to all this? Not much. The Trespa costs more than a coat of stucco but less than precast concrete panels. The recessed windows mean slightly smaller units in terms of square footage, but they add to the individuality that might catch the eye of the target market, which is turning out to be child-free professionals who can afford a building where one-bedroom units with parking start at $587,500.

In other words, this is a 268-unit complex with a budget (and one where the $89 million cost of construction included 550 foundation piles driven as much as 200 feet into the Mission Bay mud). If the Trespa panels aren't as sumptuous as the brushed blue steel on the new Contemporary Jewish Museum near Yerba Buena Gardens, well, donors aren't footing the bill.

"There's a limit to what you can do - that's the reality of real estate - but we see the clear benefit" of making the effort to build something distinctive, said Michael McCone, vice president of development for Intracorp San Francisco. "If I can sell one or two more units a month, even at the same price, that works in our favor."

Ultimately, what sets Arterra apart from too many of its neighbors is a push to create something modest but memorable. Not all of it works - the syncopation gets fussy, and the nine-story wing along King Street is monolithic - but it never seems formulaic.

Arterra may prove to be an aberration, a bright spot amid the bland boxes that typify infill housing in San Francisco and other Bay Area cities. With luck, it will be something else: a signal to developers and architects that they shouldn't settle for something that just looks good on paper.

There's more at stake - the region we hand off to the next generation. We should strive for something that looks good in real life.

Place appears on Tuesdays. E-mail John King at jking@sfchronicle.com.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...DD2A121IVR.DTL
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  #325  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2008, 3:10 AM
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I agree with his opinion on Arterra. It's a great building that does look even better in person than it does in pictures. I think its new neighbor by Arquitectonica will look great too.
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  #326  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2008, 6:17 AM
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The best I can say about it is "It's not stucco". I'm not much into modern art--on canvas or on buildings.
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  #327  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2008, 6:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketman_95046 View Post
Looks like the San Francisco Giants and a group headed by political wheeler-dealer Darius Anderson won't be battling each other for the rights to develop a ballpark village next to AT&T Park after all.

Instead, the two sides appear to be planning a merger.
Just a guess: With the defeat of Carole Migden last Spring, Darius Anderson lost his sugar momma and has to compromise. I do know he was on her speed dial.
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  #328  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2008, 4:17 PM
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We now have a name to go with the previously-announced commitment for 100,000+ sf at 455 Mission Bay Blvd South: Pfizer. They also hold an option on another 50,000 sf.

Quote:
Pfizer setting up key unit in Mission Bay
San Francisco Business Times - by Ron Leuty

Pfizer Inc., the world's largest drugmaker, is coming to San Francisco's Mission Bay.

The company will move about 100 employees -- including the headquarters of its new Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center -- into a new structure in San Francisco's growing Mission Bay biotech development.

The move is a coup for San Francisco since Pfizer is staking so much of its future on the Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center, or BBC, headed by biotech industry veteran Corey Goodman.

Pfizer leaders and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom plan to make the move official with an event at 2:15 p.m. today at the site on the east side of Third Street at Mission Bay Boulevard South. The location is across the street from the Mission Bay campus of the University of California, San Francisco.

Pfizer agreed Friday to a long-term lease of essentially the entire five-story, 105,000-square-foot west wing of Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc.'s planned office/laboratory complex at 455 Mission Bay Blvd. South. The only space Pfizer won't have in the wing is about 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Pfizer also has an option for 50,000 square feet in the omplex's 105,000-square-foot east wing.

Pfizer will move to the complex starting in early 2010, according to a company spokeswoman.
Full article here: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...ml?t=printable
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  #329  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2008, 8:04 PM
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^^^^That's great news!

I think this would also qualify as good news: Socketsite says that Radiance has closed on 25% of phase I since mid-July and has another 25% in contract. That's half the development in a couple of weeks. Maybe phase II will get going again soon.
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  #330  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2008, 6:02 AM
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I had to go down the Peninsula today, and took some pictures from the company shuttle as we sped past Mission Bay. They suck, but you can kind of see what's going on.

Here's Avalon Bay (the Arquitectonica building next to Arterra). They are really moving right along on this:


I tried to get a shot of the progress of the last two Berry projects. For some reason they built a temporary road from King and 5th over to somewhere under the freeway ramps. You can see them working on it in the lower right of this picture. By the time I returned to the city at 4pm, it was paved (this was shot a little after 8am):


This is 1500 Owens. It doesn't look like much has changed since WildCowboy posted an update a few weeks ago:


I was trying to capture Radiance and the other developments over that way, but mostly got freeway. Oh well:
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  #331  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2008, 3:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildCowboy View Post
We now have a name to go with the previously-announced commitment for 100,000+ sf at 455 Mission Bay Blvd South: Pfizer. They also hold an option on another 50,000 sf.
Pfizer needs to do something to get into biotech in a big way. They aren't doing very well otherwise and losing the patents on some of their biggest sellers. Other major drug companies are buying biotech companies (Bristol Myers Squibb is trying to buy Imclone now) but so far Pfizer has not so they'll have to rev up biotech in house. Or maybe they plan to use this space to research which biotechs to buy.
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  #332  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2008, 5:34 PM
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A little more detail in today's Chronicle, including a photo of the rendering. Unfortunately, this center was poached from SSF, so it's not an addition to the region. But it is a nice move forward for the success of Mission Bay.
Quote:


Pfizer moving new biotech research unit to S.F.
Bernadette Tansey, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 6, 2008


(08-05) 19:45 PDT -- San Francisco's drive to become a major hub of the biotechnology industry got a big boost Tuesday when Pfizer Inc., the world's largest drugmaker, said it will move the headquarters of its new biotech research unit to Mission Bay, next door to UCSF's new campus.

The department's move from South San Francisco is a "significant win," said Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has campaigned for years to attract biomedical companies to the city, where the biotech industry's scientific foundation was built more than 30 years ago with early gene-splicing experiments at UCSF.

The city has not yet estimated how much property tax or other revenue could flow directly from Pfizer's presence, officials said. But a greater impact of the move could be to increase interest in Mission Bay among other biomedical companies, said Kelley Kahn of the city's redevelopment agency. "It just really solidifies this biotech cluster we're trying to create," she said.

Pfizer, like most other huge pharmaceutical companies, has been scouting for promising new therapies by forming alliances with university researchers and biotech companies. And like other big drugmakers, Pfizer faces looming patent expiration dates for mainstay products such as Lipitor that contribute billions to its revenues. Pfizer formed its Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center last year, tapping Bay Area biotech veteran Corey Goodman to lead it.

Goodman's mission is to acquire or partner with biotech companies while allowing them to maintain the entrepreneurial culture that can lead to rapid breakthroughs in medical treatment. The move to Mission Bay, Goodman said, will place Pfizer a few steps from UCSF labs and its planned cancer hospital, making it easy for the company to carry out research collaborations, recruit top scientific talent and evaluate scientific advances.

"Every interest is aligned for us to take those innovative discoveries from basic biomedical research, turn them into therapeutics, test them in the clinic, and ultimately take them to the market to help patients," Goodman said. Pfizer had already inked a $9.5 million research collaboration deal in June with UCSF and its unit at QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, which is based at Mission Bay.

Pfizer's biotech research unit will lease a five-story building under construction next to the new UCSF campus, where a cluster of biomedical companies is sprouting.

Fulfilling the city's vision

The pioneering medical researchers at UCSF have always been a draw for biotech companies looking for new technologies to commercialize. However, in the early years of the industry they sought cheaper, roomier quarters available in outlying towns such as South San Francisco. But UCSF's second campus at Mission Bay is surrounded by vast tracts of open land, and city officials from former Mayor Willie Brown to Newsom have envisioned the university as a siren song for well-heeled biomedical companies that could bring jobs and tax revenues to the city.

"San Francisco offers companies like Pfizer a world-class urban innovation district, anchored by the nation's pre-eminent biomedical university, and unparalleled opportunities for collaboration and access to the very best talent that the United States and the world have to offer," Newsom said.

The gradual arrival of life sciences companies is starting to fulfill the vision of city officials. Redevelopment plans for Mission Bay include 6 million square feet of commercial space for biotech companies. At this point, 3 million square feet have been built, are under construction, or have city-approved plans, said Kahn of the redevelopment agency. With other land claimed for the UCSF cancer center, that leaves 1.7 million square feet still available for expansion.

QB3 director Regis Kelly said Pfizer's move will help create a thicket of personal ties between UCSF and the company, catalyzing research. "There is a huge advantage of the physical proximity of academic scientists and industry scientists," he said.

Pfizer expects to move 100 staffers into 100,500 square feet in the building at 455 Mission Bay Blvd. South by early 2010. That will include employees of antibody therapy developer Rinat, a South San Francisco biotechnology company bought by Pfizer in 2006. The Pfizer bioinnovation center has a 15-year lease with an option to rent half of an adjoining building the same size.

Room to expand

The Pfizer unit will be among the larger private biomedical companies at Mission Bay, which include Sirna Therapeutics Inc., a biotech company acquired by Merck & Co. in 2006; and FibroGen Inc., which will move from South San Francisco in November.

Although Pfizer has room to expand at Mission Bay, it doesn't intend to develop a huge campus of its own, Goodman said. The bioinnovation center is a hub that unites Pfizer collaborators in the Bay Area, Boston and San Diego. The company's base at Mission Bay will help its far-flung research partners form relationships with UCSF scientists, Goodman said.

But the bioinnovation center remains an "independent, entrepreneurial division of Pfizer," Goodman said. "We're never going to grow super-big," he said. "That's what we're trying to avoid."
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  #333  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2008, 5:44 PM
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Curbed SF has the actual rendering posted. I think it looks great. Perhaps my favorite in Mission Bay so far. I'd post them here, but it's not in a format that allows me to pull the URL.
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  #334  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2008, 9:04 PM
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I don't think that 330/ 335 berry can be the last berry street projects because there is still an empty lot across from edgewater , where the new road is being paved
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  #335  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2008, 9:25 PM
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You're right. There is that last little sliver right next to the 280 offramp.
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  #336  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2008, 10:58 PM
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Yes, that's Block N4A, Parcel 3. It's will be a 129-unit condo complex, with 80 of them being below market rate. It's designed by Kwan Henmi and there's some Redevelopment Agency discussion of it here. I haven't been able to find any renderings.
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  #337  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2008, 12:10 AM
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Anyone know when construction might start?
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  #338  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2008, 1:26 AM
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That Redevelopment Agency document from April 2007 anticipated a December 2007 start, but clearly that has slipped. I have no additional information on when that might start.
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  #339  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2008, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Friday, August 8, 2008
How San Francisco caught Pfizer
City, UCSF, old relationships drew drug giant to Mission Bay
San Francisco Business Times - by Ron Leuty


Over a restaurant table at Farallon last fall, Corey Goodman gave his new boss, the CEO of the world's largest drugmaker, his vision of Big Pharma's future.

It was the start of a 10-month journey, one that would lead from the upscale San Francisco financial district restaurant through San Francisco City Hall, UCSF's latest campus and, ultimately, to a dusty patch in Mission Bay -- across from the University of California, San Francisco -- with pilings sticking out of the dirt.

That is where Goodman, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. CEO Joel Marcus formally announced Aug. 5 that Pfizer Inc.'s Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center, or BBC, will call Mission Bay home. The center is expected to spearhead the giant pharmaceutical firm's efforts to reinvigorate its drug pipeline through closer collaboration with biotech scientists and startups.

Pfizer will take 100,000 square feet at the corner of Third Street and Mission Bay Blvd. South -- nearly the entire west wing of the five-story complex -- with an option for 50,000 square feet of the east wing. With a 15-year lease, it will start moving 100 employees there in early 2010.

The deal underscores Pfizer's belief in the BBC and Goodman's vision of marrying academia and biotech under the traditionally chemistry-focused canopy of Big Pharma. Goodman is looking at stem cells, peptides, proteins and emerging technologies like RNA interference and new ways of delivering vaccines.

But Pfizer's success with the BBC, like the deal that brought the unit and Pfizer's Rinat Neuroscience from South San Francisco to Mission Bay, may depend as much on longstanding relationships as it does location.

'Hub of action'

Seated at Farallon with Goodman, Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler and other Pfizer officials was Reg Kelly, director of QB3, the University of California's three-campus plan to drive biomedical research off academia's shelves into industry and the bodies of patients.

Goodman and Kelly had been colleagues in and out of the UC system for years. Now -- a mere four days after becoming head of Pfizer's new effort to transform its moribund drug-development process -- Goodman wanted Kindler to listen to Kelly and see how they could forge a brave new drug-development world.

Pharmaceutical companies, Goodman said, must be near academic centers -- physically as well as philosophically. Instead, traditionally, they have sequestered themselves from new ideas while building multibillion-dollar blockbuster drugs.

Academic-industry collaborations typically take nine months just to bring lawyers together, Goodman said. By that time, researchers "don't remember what the heck experiments they wanted to do in the first place."

But at UCSF, Chancellor Michael Bishop and the School of Medicine's executive vice dean, Keith Yamamoto, have promoted new approaches to collaboration. Kelly's Mission Bay-based QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Bioscience, is evidence of that.

QB3 had already helped UCSF land a master agreement with the granddaddy of biotech, Genentech Inc., and its Garage incubator was helping academic scientists and researchers craft their innovations into businesses. In June, Pfizer and QB3 would finalize a $9.5 million, three-year collaboration deal.

So when it came to finding a permanent home for the BBC, Goodman knew he wanted to be near UCSF.

"We did look around and realized it wasn't about price. The issue is about culture," said Goodman, who is an adjunct faculty member at UCSF and founded Exelixis Inc. and Renovis Inc. in South San Francisco. "We want to be in the hub of action."

City connection

San Francisco city officials were already familiar with Goodman. When Renovis' main stroke drug had a successful Phase III trial, Goodman started scouting locations for what he anticipated would be a much larger company.

Mayor Newsom had already focused economic development policy on biotech and Mission Bay. The 303-acre former landfill, Southern Pacific rail yard and warehouse wasteland started its transformation to a biotech hub under Mayor Willie Brown, but Newsom's team zeroed in on baseline issues like parking and a biotech payroll tax exemption.

Newsom and other city officials met with Goodman in February 2006, but after the failure of Renovis' stroke drug in a late-stage trial by partner AstraZeneca at the end of 2006, the company laid off 40 of its 100 employees.

Goodman worked out a deal, finalized last September, to sell the company to German biotech firm Evotec AG for $152 million. And Goodman, who knew Pfizer leaders as a result of a Renovis research deal, started Oct. 4 at Pfizer.

Jesse Blout, who at the time headed the city's economic development efforts, sent a congratulatory email in November. By March, Pfizer and city officials like Todd Rufo sat down for their first meeting.

"We thought there was a significant possibility that they could stay (in South San Francisco)," said Jennifer Matz of San Francisco's Office of Workforce and Economic Development.

The city outlined the payroll tax exemption Pfizer could use for its 100 employees in Mission Bay as well as state enterprise zone benefits, which could cut the company's state tax on equipment and could give it a sales tax credit of up to $2 million.

City officials said no special incentive deals were pitched to net Pfizer.

Goodman had based the BBC, at least in the short term, at Rinat Neuroscience, the South San Francisco company that Pfizer bought in 2006. He brought in Skip Whitney and James Bennett from GVA Kidder Mathews and Randy Scott from Cornish & Carey Commercial in December, and they began scouting for a permanent home in South San Francisco or Mission Bay.

Among the buildings explored was China Basin Landing, where McCarthy Cook & Co. and RREEF were in the final stages of a unique 175,000-square-foot expansion atop 185 Berry St.

UCSF's epidemiology and biostatistics department and its imaging center are at China Basin Landing, and the space was only a couple months away from move-in condition. Plus, it is a 15-minute walk -- or five-minute shuttle bus or Muni rail trip -- to the Mission Bay campus.

But, Goodman said, he wanted to be even closer to UCSF. "For collaboration, there is no better place to do it," he said.

Steps away

Goodman leaned toward Alexandria, which had built 1700 Owens St. and leased space there to tenants like Merck & Co., biotech pioneer Bill Rutter, a handful of small biotechs and a cadre of biotech-related venture capital firms.

That building is on the other side of UCSF's Mission Bay campus.

There too a longtime relationship came into play: Alexandria handled Pfizer's first research space lease in Cambridge, Mass., 10 years ago, Alexandria's Marcus said.

"Real estate is real estate," Marcus said. "Location is critical, but it's the ability to put the pieces together that makes a difference."

By early May, Pfizer had signed a letter of intent with Alexandria.

That same month, Pfizer inked a research and equity deal with Five Prime Therapeutics Inc., located next door to 1700 Owens in the J. David Gladstone Institutes building. What's more, Five Prime President and CEO Gail Maderis is a friend of Goodman and is on Mayor Newsom's biotech task force.

City officials were in full lobbying mode. Newsom and Goodman, who had met almost 1½ years before to talk about Renovis moving to the city, had another meeting in April. The mayor called Goodman at least two times in May.

"The city was responsive, cordial and available," said Bennett of GVA Kidder Mathews.

In the end, Goodman said, he chose the Alexandria site for what it could mean long term for academic-industry relationships. Those few steps between UCSF, QB3 and Pfizer's BBC could go a long way toward breaking down traditional barriers, he said, and the location also could allow the BBC to forge new, creative arrangements with venture capitalists.

"We can collaborate," Goodman said. "We can make it where it's only a few steps away."

rleuty@bizjournals.com / (415) 288-4939
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...ml?t=printable
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  #340  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2008, 11:14 PM
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I quickly passed (and thus was unable to shoot) Mission Bay today. A bunch of glass has been delivered to 1500 Owens, so we should start to see that go on shortly. And they have started installing the facade at the Arquitectonica-designed Avalon Bay development. It looks like pre-cast concrete, but might not be (I didn't have much time to examine it). Don't fear, it doesn't look bad so far (after just a handful of sections have been installed).
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