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Alexandria Continues 'Mega Campus' Strategy In San Bruno

Shops at Tanforan in San Bruno

Alexandria Real Estate Equities has snapped up yet another parcel at the Shops at Tanforan, making the real estate investment trust the dominant owner of the 44-acre San Bruno mall ahead of redevelopment plans. 

The Pasadena-based firm has purchased a 15-acre section of the mall from Queensland Investment Corp., according to the San Francisco Business Times. The 479K SF section represents the main section of the mall. 

Alexandria first disclosed the acquisition for 1150 El Camino Real in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last month, indicating the deal would represent 680K SF of future development opportunity, though a purchase price was not disclosed. Alexandria already owns the JCPenney and Sears department stores at the mall; together, the sites can support 1.3M SF of future redevelopment. 

All told, Alexandria now has the opportunity to develop 2M SF and create what it calls “a new mega campus.”  

Last year, the San Bruno City Council kicked off official plans to convert the mall into a mixed-use campus with 1,000 housing units, a biotech campus and other commercial components. The transit-oriented property has a BART station that will “combine” with Alexandria’s future plans. 

Alexandria has been active in and outside of the Bay Area of late; the company last month shelled out $446M for four offices at the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto. The company now owns 10 buildings at the campus, with plans to redevelop the buildings into a campus of office and laboratory space. 

It has several other megacampus plans in the works. The company confirmed to Bisnow Tuesday it has acquired a Boston office property with plans to convert it into a life sciences campus. In San Diego, the company last month bought a retail center for $125M and planned a joint venture with the seller, Regency Centers, to transform it into a mixed-use campus including labs, offices, a hotel, retail and restaurant space.