Developer envisions 654K sf for life science on former Oracle site in Redwood City

Aims to raze 263K sf office it bought last year, build campus more than twice its size

IQHQ's Tracy Murphy with rendering or 10 Twin Dolphin Drive proposal (IDHQ, RIOS)
IQHQ's Tracy Murphy with rendering or 10 Twin Dolphin Drive proposal (IDHQ, RIOS)

A developer has filed plans to demolish an office building in Redwood City it bought from Oracle six months ago for $164 million to make way for a 654,000-square-foot life science campus.

San Diego-based IQHQ’s proposal calls for three five-story office and lab buildings to replace the 263,000-square-foot structure and surrounding surface parking at 10 and 12 Twin Dolphin Drive, according to plans it presented to the city on April 27. The firm wants to build the densest project allowed under Redwood City’s zoning guidelines on the 15-acre site, equating to 654,000 square feet of floor area. To do so, it’s setting aside 10 percent of its project, or 65,000 square feet, as open public space and providing other community benefits such as new bike and pedestrian pathways, according to its April 27 presentation.

The project doubles the amount of office and lab property IQHQ intends to build in Redwood City to more than 1.2 million square feet amid strong regional demand for life science space. Vacancy rates for such property in San Mateo County, which includes Redwood City and 19 other cities and towns, was 2.6 percent at the end of last year, according to Kidder Mathews data. Average asking rents in the county ranged from $6.50 to $7.50 a square foot a month, making it the second-most expensive submarket for life science space in the Bay Area, trailing only San Francisco, Kidder Mathews data show.

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IQHQ’s pre-application marks the earliest stage of the project approval process and doesn’t represent a formal proposal. Aspects of its plans like the total number of parking spaces, development cost and construction timeline were not disclosed in its presentation to the city last month. The firm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Its project adds to the area’s robust pipeline of life science developments. Presidio Bay Ventures is breaking ground on a 147,000-square-foot Class A project in San Carlos later this month and wants to build a 410,000-square-foot complex elsewhere in the city. Trammell Crow, meantime, plans to build a 202,000-square-foot office and lab structure at 200 to 240 Twin Dolphin Drive, near IQHQ’s proposed campus.

Elsewhere in Redwood City, IQHQ has the city’s approval to build 600,000 square feet of life science and office space spread across four buildings. They’re part of Elco Yards, a mixed-use development downtown that also includes 540 apartments being developed by Greystar. IQHQ acquired the eight-acre project site mainly located along El Camino Real and Maple, Cedar and Main Streets for an undisclosed amount last year.

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