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Life Sciences Leasing Binge Continues On S.F. Peninsula

Applied Molecular Transport signed a lease for 84K SF at Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ waterfront building at 450 East Jamie Court in South San Francisco, according to a Feb. 5 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The lease continues the trend of the Bay Area’s life sciences sector proving its resiliency during the economic downturn, buoyed by being deemed essential business during the height of the coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home public health orders. It has also been given a lift by funding for research on treatments and vaccines against diseases like cancer, COVID-19 and, in the case of Applied Molecular Transport, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.


After paying a $916K security deposit, Applied Molecular Transport will owe $458K in total monthly rent with a 3% increase on base rent, according to the SEC. The lease is effective on Oct. 1 and covers a combination of lab, manufacturing, warehouse and office uses. The building is near Applied Molecular Transport’s headquarters at 1 Tower Place.

Life sciences held the helm of transaction volume for the R&D sector at large on the Peninsula last year, according to a Q4 2020 report from CBRE. The report concluded that much of the quarter’s positive net absorption was attributed to Alexandria’s new 315K SF life sciences building at 201 Haskins Way in South City that is 100% leased. 

There is a trend of biotech companies actively leasing space on the Peninsula. Cancer therapy developer Kronos Bio Inc. just upgraded space at its 1300 South El Camino Real headquarters in San Mateo, according to a Feb. 8 SEC filing. The company’s current 8K SF will swell to 17K SF beginning in July and will cost $1.2M in annual rent plus a 3% increase. The building was bought by MPVCA San Mateo LLC in 2019, according to Compstak. Other tenants include tech companies Jobvite and Zinier and medical imaging company iSchemaView.