Greenland USA Buys Land for Bay Area Biotech Behemoth

The 42-acre Landing at Oyster Point will be transformed into a $1 billion office and R&D campus.
Aerial view of The Landing at Oyster Point masterplan

Aerial view of The Landing at Oyster Point masterplan

San Francisco—Los Angeles, New York and now San Francisco. Greenland USA continues to further its goal of peppering the U.S. with monumental commercial real estate projects as it completes the acquisition of The Landing at Oyster Point, a 42-acre developable site in South San Francisco. Greenland USA partnered with Ping An Trust, Agile Group and Poly Sino Capital Ltd. on the $171 million purchase of the premier property from Shorenstein Properties and SKS Partners.

The Oyster Point site last traded in 2008, then known as Oyster Point Business Park and Marina Village, for $85 million. The joint venture, Oyster Point Development LLC, plans to build a $1 billion office and R&D campus on the land, located in the center of a city widely considered to be the leading biotechnology innovation cluster in the world.

“Greenland USA specializes in large-scale properties, whether it’s residential, commercial or mixed-use, so this property at Oyster Point falls right in our wheelhouse,” Taotao Song, executive vice president of Greenland USA & CEO of the joint venture, told Commercial Property Executive. Greenland USA is the majority shareholder in the joint venture, while Ping An is serving as equity partner, and Agile and Poly Sino hold the positions of minority equity partners.

The Landing at Oyster Point

The Landing at Oyster Point

Lacking nothing but an official name (a temporary condition), the Oyster Point project is, as commercial real estate services firm JLL described when commencing marketing of the asset, a “once-in-a-generation development opportunity.” The property is fully-entitled, boasts direct waterfront access, is highly transit-oriented and lies a mere 5 miles from San Francisco proper. And then there are the unobstructed panoramic views of San Francisco Bay, but who’s looking? Additionally, the site can accommodate a vast amount of development—just under 2.3 million square feet—and Oyster Point Development plans to utilize every bit of the square footage to create a state-of-the-art life sciences campus enhanced by public open space and recreational areas. The initial phase of the complex will feature 500,000 square feet. Too much? Not according to the experts.

The numbers add up. Per JLL research, the San Francisco Bay Area continues to lead the nation in life sciences patents, with 1,652 total in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. So, even with developer HCP’s January groundbreaking on the second phase of its 1 million-square-foot The Cove life sciences property, strong demand for accommodations in the birthplace of biotech appears to be anything but fleeting. “The South San Francisco area, along with the biotechnology industry, are growing rapidly and we’re confident in the opportunities ahead of us,” Song said.

Opportunities have been abundant for Greenland USA. The company, a three-year-old subsidiary of Chinese real estate developer Greenland Group, marked its first investment in the U.S. with the billion-dollar Metropolis mixed-use project in downtown Los Angeles, which is scheduled to reach completion in 2018. Greenland USA also has a stake in the $6 billion Pacific Park Brooklyn in New York City. The company is developing the 22-acre mixed-use destination, formerly known as Atlantic Yards, with Forest City Ratner Cos.

Come mid-2018, construction on Phase I of the Oyster Point project will have gotten underway. In a prepared statement, Greenland Group chairman Yuliang Zhang said, “The U.S. continues to play a critical role in our overseas expansion and we look forward to what will be a landmark property.”

Renderings courtesy of zum3D