Trammell Crow pays $65M for site of planned life science project in Redwood City

Project is developer’s first such one in the Bay Area, underscoring strong investor demand in region’s lab real estate sector

Westshore Office Park in Redwood City and Adam Voelker, leader of Trammell Crow's Northern California office (Trammell Crow Company, Cushman & Wakefield)
Westshore Office Park in Redwood City and Adam Voelker, leader of Trammell Crow's Northern California office (Trammell Crow Company, Cushman & Wakefield)

Add Trammell Crow Company, one of the nation’s largest developers, to the growing group of firms doing life science projects in the Bay Area.

The Dallas-based firm and CBRE subsidiary acquired almost 5 acres in Redwood City for about $65 million, or about $317 a foot of land, according to the San Mateo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office’s website. The deal was recorded with the Clerk-Recorder’s Office on Jan. 12. Trammell Crow plans to build a five-story, approximately 202,000-square-foot office and life science building along with a parking garage there, according to a draft news release on the sale obtained by The Real Deal.

“We are thrilled to be moving forward on this exciting project,” Adam Voelker, leader of Trammell Crow’s Northern California office, said in the release. “We have high conviction in the dynamic Peninsula and Redwood City markets.”

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The Class A life science development appears to be Trammell Crow’s first in the Bay Area, although it’s no stranger to lab real estate. The firm acquired the site at 200-240 Twin Dolphin Drive from Sand Hill Property, which received approval from the city last year to construct a garage and office building with the same number of floors and square footage that the property’s new owner has planned. The difference between the two projects is that Sand Hill’s is entirely offices, although it marketed it as suitable for lab companies, while Trammell Crow’s is catered to life science and research tenants.

The firm notified the city this week of its purchase of the Twin Dolphin Drive site and intent to pivot from an administrative office to a life science use there, Redwood City senior planner Apollo Rojas said in an email. It hasn’t provided the city with its plans for the property, now the six-building, almost 50,000-square-foot Westshore Office Park, Rojas said. It’s unclear what changes Trammell Crow will make to the design, total square footage and standards of the project the Redwood City planning commission approved in March, he said.

The city’s planning department will review any changes the firm makes for “substantial compliance” with the previously approved proposal, Rojas said, adding that life science uses are permitted on the Twin Dolphin Drive property. Trammell Crow intends to demolish the Westshore Office Park to build the project it’s planning there, the release said. The firm declined to comment on either its acquisition of the site or its plans outside of what it shared in the release.

Sand Hill’s Steve Lynch confirmed the accuracy of the sale price on the Clerk-Recorder’s Office’s website and said Trammell Crow was an “absolute pleasure” to work with, but declined to comment further.