Menlo Park Labs Looks to Add 260,000 SQFT to Bustling Bay Area Campus

Menlo Park, City of Menlo Park, Tarlton Properties, Menlo Parks Lab, Bay Area, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Diego, Illumina, Foster City, Merck & Co, Intersect ENT, AtheroMed, Stanford University, Stanford Health Care, Stanford Institute

By Meghan Hall

For the first time in nearly 30 years, Menlo Park-based developer Tarlton Properties is expanding its Menlo Parks Lab office park. The expansion will be located at 1350 Adams Court and will add 260,000 square feet of research and development space to the complex. The 11.2-acres on which the five-story building will be constructed was granted to Tarlton Properties by the City of Menlo Park last year and will be one of the larger life sciences developments expected in the Bay Area.

According to Ron Krietemeyer, the chief operating office for Tarlton Properties, the decision to expand has been in the works for some time. “Tarlton Properties worked with the City of Menlo Park over many years to carefully construct the zoning for a new life sciences district,” explained Krietemeyer. “This creative new zoning allows for cutting-edge life science buildings catering to the broader Stanford entrepreneurial community to be built, in exchange for community benefits that are targeted specifically in the neighborhoods near the district.”

The expansion comes at a time when research and development space in the Bay Area is scarce and vacancy rates remain incredibly low, particularly on the Peninsula. Several third-party studies have reported that San Francisco’s R&D vacancy rates are as low as zero percent, while vacancy rates in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties hover between two and three percent. Although a number projects will reach completion in the next few years—San Diego-based Illumina is constructing 500,000 square feet of laboratory space in Foster City and Merck & Co. is building a 290,000 square foot research facility in South San Francisco—the R&D real estate market will remain tight as medical, biotech and pharmaceutical companies move to the Bay Area for access to the industry’s best talent and research universities.

Menlo Park Labs itself has long been a hub for science and tech companies, and over 60 companies call the 1.4 million square foot business park home. And companies that are there have expanded their leases at the park in recent years as the Bay Area’s life-science industry continues to boom. One of them is Intersect ENT, which signed a long-term lease expansion for an additional 18,000 square feet of space in 2015. Intersect ENT now occupies the entire 50,000 square foot building at 1555 Adams Drive. AtheroMed, a medical device startup, nearly doubled the amount of space it occupies at Menlo Park Labs when the company expanded its lease from 6,700 square feet to 10,000 square feet in 2016.

Krietemeyer recognizes the importance of Menlo Park Labs to the Bay Area life-sciences community and its draw to companies looking to enter the Bay Area market. “A number of factors play into the centrality of Menlo Park Labs in the commercialization of life sciences technology,” said Krietemeyer. “The first is our proximity to one of the world’s strongest IP engines—Stanford University, Stanford Health Care and Stanford Institute—and our focus on tenants that not only improve patient lives and longevity, but also reduce the cost of healthcare.”

The design and final blueprint of the expanded building will largely depend on the tenant, although none has yet been announced, yet. Krietemeyer did confirm that the building will be constructed according to LEED Gold standards, use 100 percent renewable energy and have a water efficient design that includes low water landscaping.

“Every company is different and has its own specific requirements that we would design to for the company’s build-out,” said Krietemeyer of the development’s unsolidified plans. “We work closely with our tenants and our design and construction teams to develop a functional, cost-effective, purpose-designed space that will allow them to satisfy their laboratory and manufacturing requirements while building on their company’s culture and branding,” he added.

DES Architects and Engineers, the firm in charge of designing the Menlo Park Labs expansion, referred The Registry to Tarlton Properties when asked about the project. Tarlton Properties is aiming to break ground in the summer of 2019; currently the project is undergoing an environmental review. When the review and permitting process will be completed is unclear, as the City of Menlo Park did not return a request for comment. The project for now is slated to be completed in the fall of 2020

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