South San Francisco Life Sciences Cluster Sees Increased Development

July 21, 2017

The City of South San Francisco continues its economic and population growth at a rapid pace. Construction sites are numerous and further development plans are under consideration. There are currently 5,300,000 square feet of research and development (R&D) and office space in the construction pipeline, along with 530 new housing units. New projects include another 450,000 square feet of office/R&D and another 2,100 housing units.

In early July, a joint study session was held by the South San Francisco City Council and the City Planning Commission on these current and new proposals for further development. One such new proposal includes the first ever building of residential housing in the specifically zoned life sciences cluster east of Highway 101. This would involve the addition of 1,200 units of residential housing to be built. As originally intended, the Oyster Point Development Plan, which was approved by the SSF City Council in 2011, was to upgrade the Oyster Point area of SSF’s life sciences cluster to include more R&D and office development only. This housing concept is being considered as a proposed amendment to that Plan.

CLSA provided testimony at the public study session as part of our continued close work with City Hall to address the growth and success of the cluster. CLSA’s longstanding policy is generally to support housing near transit corridors and Oyster Point does not fit that policy. Additionally, as this proposed housing development at Oyster Point would be located directly in the core of our industrial area, CLSA offered our thoughts on its potential impact on the life sciences cluster as a whole, local traffic conditions, transportation options for employees in SSF, and the lack affordable housing throughout the Bay Area.

For more than 25 years, CLSA, and its forebear BayBio, has housed our own offices in the life sciences cluster in South San Francisco. Our mission has always been to see this cluster on the eastern side of Highway 101 succeed and we will continue to advocate for policies to support that.

For more information on the public hearing, the development project, and for any questions, please contact Reese Isbell, CLSA’s Director of Local Government and Community Relations (