Courtesy of BioMed Realty Trust
An artist’s rendering of the future Illumina Inc. campus on Lincoln Centre Drive in Foster City.
Construction is officially underway on the more than 20-acre, $149 million biotech campus that will soon bring hundreds of employees as well as tax revenue to Foster City.
Shovels officially touched ground Thursday as a ceremony marked the start of BioMed Realty Trust’s project to create a state-of-the-art facility for Illumina Inc., a global gene-sequencing firm that will consolidate its Bay Area offices and headquarters at the site off Lincoln Centre Drive near State Route 92.
BioMed, which bought the property for $37 million in 2013, reached an up to 26-year lease deal with Illumina to construct the build-to-suit campus anticipated to open in 2017.
BioMed Chairman and CEO Alan Gold gathered with state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Foster City Mayor Art Kiesel at the site that will soon be a hub of activity as crews begin constructing the campus.
“Our groundbreaking event today at Illumina’s new campus in Foster City was marked by excitement for both scientific innovation and economic growth,” Gold wrote in an email.
The campus will consist of 360,000 feet of office and laboratory space spread between three buildings, a 40,000-square-foot two-story building to house employee amenities and three parking structures with nearly 1,800 spaces. Based on the entitlements negotiated with the city for a phase II construction and Illumina’s option to extend its lease after 16 years, the site could ultimately boast 555,000 square feet of office and lab space and support 1,600 employees.
Foster City is becoming a biotech hub with Gilead Sciences also headquartered there and in the midst of its own construction projects.
The BioMed deal could provide significant sales and property tax revenue to the city — a projected $50 million over the 26-year-lease.
The terms of the contract include the city reimbursing Illumina up to $4.5 million in development fees through the taxes it collects from the project. Illumina sweetened the deal with a $1.85 million payment toward a Community Benefits Program, the details of which will be determined by the City Council.
The council discussed its options — which will likely include designating funds toward affordable housing programs — at a meeting in October before signing off on the agreement.
While Illumina had already outlined an extensive transportation demand management plan to reduce vehicle trips by 21 percent, the city urged the biotech to think of innovative solutions to addressing impacts to traffic, schools and housing.
Illumina and BioMed representatives said they’d continue to work with the city to create a premier campus that bolsters both scientific innovation and benefits to the community.
“We’re very pleased with the collaborative public/private partnership between Illumina, Foster City and BioMed Realty,” Gold wrote, “and [we] are looking forward to continuing this partnership as the campus takes shape.”
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