New look for 17-story R&D offices in South San Francisco

Project replaces Comfort Inn with gateway to train station

Phase 3 Real Estate Partners ceo Neil Fox and a rendering of the project at 121 E. Grand Ave., South San Francisco (LinkedIn, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)
Phase 3 Real Estate Partners ceo Neil Fox and a rendering of the project at 121 E. Grand Ave., South San Francisco (LinkedIn, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)

A San Diego developer has revealed a new look for a 17-story R&D office building in South San Francisco.

San Diego-based Phase 3 Real Estate Partners, operating through OCI San Fran, unveiled new plans for the 938,270-square-foot highrise at 121 East Grand Avenue, SFYimby reported. It would replace a three-story Comfort Inn.

The transit-oriented office and research development campus would serve as the gateway to a new Caltrain station east of the 101 Freeway.

The L-shaped building, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill of Chicago, appears like a series of carefully stacked ice cubes, with banks of floor-to-ceiling windows cut by aluminum trim.

The 295-foot tall office tower would devote 884,600 square feet to office space and the remainder for research and development labs. An underground parking garage would serve nearly 1,400 cars, with added parking for 250 bicycles.

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The building, broken up by setbacks and landscaped terraces, would include a triangular canopy jutting from its entrance at East Grand Avenue and Poletti Way. A triangle-shaped Confluence Plaza would include landscaped open space with room for public sculptures and murals.

The 3-acre project is expected to generate $58.6 million from impact fees and $30.15 million for community benefits, including a $10 million contribution to the new Caltrain station and funding for a new community facilities district.

Phase 3 Real Estate Partners had also teamed up with Skidmore Owings & Merrill for its nearby Genesis Towers in San Francisco, the 721,000-square-foot office and R&D development completed in 2019 and sold the next year for $1 billion. 

They also developing Genesis Marina, a 570,000-square-foot laboratory and office project under construction in Brisbane.

— Dana Bartholomew

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