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Chinese developer eyes a Bay Area biotech hub

Firm seeks to build on a culture of collaborative research in the U.S.

by Rick Mullin
August 29, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 34

A Chinese developer has acquired the Landing at Oyster Point, 42 acres of waterfront property in South San Francisco on which it intends to build a biotech research center. Greenland USA, in partnership with three other Chinese investors, expects to invest $1 billion in a large-scale office and R&D complex.

“The San Francisco Bay Area is known globally for its leadership in innovation,” says Yuliang Zhang, chairman of Shanghai-based Greenland Group, which owns Greenland USA and is also involved in real estate projects in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. “We look forward to what will be a landmark property.”

The partners plan to begin work in 2018 on the first phase of what it calls a multiphase project. In all, they envision 215,000 m2 of development, including public space and recreational areas.

Bernard Munos, senior fellow at FasterCures, a think tank at the Milken Institute, says the plan reflects a growing recognition of the importance of scientific cross-pollination in health care research. “The announcement is interesting, but only half-surprising,” he says. “We are going to see more of these things at specific locales.”

The choice of South San Francisco makes sense, he adds, in that the Bay Area is one of the top three research hubs in the U.S., along with San Diego and Boston. Munos also isn’t surprised that a Chinese developer would choose to set up in the U.S. rather than in China, where the cultural and research environments are not as conducive to free interaction among scientists.


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