Contact Us

UC Berkeley, SKS Partners To Bring $2B R&D Center To NASA's Silicon Valley Campus

A 1.4M SF research and development center in Mountain View will be used by public and private entities alike.

The University of California, Berkeley, NASA and SKS Partners have teamed up to develop a $2B, 1.4M SF research and development center at NASA's research park in Mountain View, California.

The Berkeley Space Center will be located on 36 acres at Moffett Field in at the national space agency's Ames Research Center. 

The development will be adjacent to NASA facilities including its advanced supercomputing division, arc jet complex and vertical motion simulator. Construction is estimated to begin in three years. 

The private space industry is expected to grow from the current $5B to $1.1T by the end of the decade, according to Eugene Tu, Center Director at Ames, speaking at a press conference Monday. The expected growth in the industry could lead to more developments of this nature in the future. 

“The future of space exploration is going to be much more dependent and reliant on partnerships,” Tu said. 

Developers expect about 10% of the leasable space in the research center to be occupied by UC Berkeley. The rest, about 1M SF, will be leased out to the private sector and prospective tenants are showing interest. 

“This is a truly unique opportunity for public and private companies to locate in one of the key innovation hubs in the world,” said Bob Steinbock, senior vice president at CBRE, which is the leasing agent for the project. “Giving companies the ability to scale their operations in one place in Silicon Valley is unprecedented.” 

To finance the $2B project, the venture anticipates that they will be able to sign leases prior to construction, which will make “financing much more manageable,” according to SKS co-founder Daniel Kingsley. 

“We are in the Bay Area, so the project cost is quite high,” Kingsley said.

The project will also have 300 units of housing, including workforce, student and market-rate units. An estimated 900 UC Berkeley students take part in internships with NASA annually, the housing is meant to help accommodate them.   

The Berkeley Space Center will add to a Silicon Valley R&D pipeline that hasn’t seen a new development since 2021. There are no new developments under construction, according to a Q3 report by CBRE. The lack of construction doesn’t mean there isn’t demand, the report indicates, with tenants seeking 5.3M SF of space in the region. 

Leasing activity in the R&D market also increased during Q3 2023, increasing by 47% over Q2 to 2.25M SF. New lease activity accounted for roughly 62% of the Q3 total.