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San Diego Life Sciences Developer Makes Second Redwood City Acquisition In Just As Many Weeks

Oracle's Redwood City offices

Less than two weeks after buying a planned office and multifamily campus in downtown Redwood City, San Diego-based IQHQ has shelled out $165M for another project in the city. 

The life sciences developer bought a vacant office building and an adjacent parking lot from Oracle Corp., according to The Real Deal. The computer software maker sold the 15-acre site, which includes a 263K SF building and parking lot, for about $250 per SF, sources told The Real Deal.

At the end of last month, IQHQ paid an undisclosed amount for a planned office and multifamily campus in Redwood City. The fully entitled project, dubbed Elco Yards, will have four office buildings totaling nearly 600K SF and two residential buildings with 540 units, 147 of which will be affordable.

The deals follow IQHQ’s purchase in May 2020 of a 2-acre site in South San Francisco for a planned 213K SF office project. Republic Metropolitan sold the South City Station for an undisclosed price. 

IQHQ is one of many bullish on life sciences, with employment in the sector hitting a record high in March 2021, according to a midyear CBRE report. CBRE has dubbed Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego the premier markets for the sector, with the strongest demand and tightest vacancies. IQHQ is most active in these three markets. 

IQHQ’s most recent purchase closed on Wednesday. The Class-B office was built in 1980 and could make way for a life sciences development totaling up to 655K SF of lab space, according to an offering memorandum cited by The Real Deal.

Oracle relocated its headquarters to Austin, Texas, from Redwood City last year, and has since been selling off its California office portfolio. A redevelopment of the site would not be the first time a life sciences developer tapped the company’s former footprint as a source for new lab space.

Blackstone affiliate BioMed Realty paid $160M for a trio of former Oracle offices and 6.5 acres of adjacent land. The site can accommodate 350K SF of future development, according to The Registry. BioMed has not released redevelopment plans.