Directly across from San Diego’s famed Torrey Pines Golf Course, the research campus is being remodeled to match—and potentially enhance—the life science prestige of its address at the corner of Science Park Road and North Torrey Pines Road.
On Thursday, San Diego planning commissioners unanimously approved the necessary permits for One Alexandria Square, a redevelopment of Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ existing 22-acre development located between Callan Road and Science Park Road in Torrey Pines.
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With approval, the publicly traded real estate investment trust expects to construct three brand new research and development buildings by the end of the year alongside a large courtyard, pickle ball facilities, a takeaway, a destination restaurant and an events center. In a second construction phase, the campus will be supplemented by a fourth new building.
The four low-rise buildings and lounges will replace two 1970’s life science buildings at 10975 North Torrey Pines Rd. and 10931-10933 North Torrey Pines.
Overall, One Alexandria Square will introduce 229,000 square feet of new development and result in a total of 428,160 square feet of office and laboratory space, with the footprint encompassing the developer’s existing biotech amenity-rich entertainment zone known as The Alexandria. The project also includes 1,487 parking spaces, housed both under the new buildings and in a standalone car park.
“This is one of the country’s premier life sciences locations… . (One Alexandria Square) will completely transform the entire Mesa of Torrey Pines with stunning, timeless architecture inspired by the Salk (Institute),” said Dan Ryan, co-chief investment officer, Alexandria Union-Tribune. “The thought here was to build generational buildings that are timeless in their design, and so it will be an amazing addition to this scientific community.”
Ryan declined to split the cost of One Alexandria Square.
Designed by architecture firm NBBJ, the flagship project will serve as a gateway for Torrey Pines and, in turn, the rest of San Diego, Ryan told commissioners.
Formally beginning in 1994 with the purchase of the One Alexandria Square site, Maryland-based Alexandria now operates 42 million square feet across 446 lots in San Diego, Boston, the Bay Area, New York City and Seattle, according to government filings . In San Diego, the life sciences developer operates 104 lots and 8.4 million square feet of laboratory and office space, including projects under construction. Its holdings are concentrated in Torrey Pines, University City and Sorrento Mesa.
The planners spoke favorably of One Alexandria Square and its design.
“I think it’s beautiful,” said Kelly Modén, vice chair of the planning commission. “I think it will add to San Diego’s economic vitality and further expand[the region’s]presence in the life sciences community.”
The seven honorary commissioners, appointed by the mayor, had to sign the building permit for the project. Action by the City Council is not required unless the Commission’s decision is challenged. The developer requested and was granted zoning variances that allow them to build closer to the public right of way along North Torrey Pines Road and create a wider than usual driveway. The project previously received the unanimous support of the University Community Planning Group.
Alexandria has pre-leased three buildings in the project. Publicly traded Singular Genomics, a next-generation sequencing technology company focused on oncology and immunology, has leased two of the buildings. Local startup Boundless Bio, which specializes in cutting-edge cancer treatments, has leased the third, Ryan said.
The first construction phase should be completed by the end of 2024.