Proposal for 138,000 SQFT Life Science Building Replaces Plans for 173-Key Hotel in San Carlos

Brittan West, Premia Capital, San Carlos, Brick Architecture and Interiors, SWENSON, Huntington Hotel Group, JLL
Courtesy of City of San Carlos

By Meghan Hall

A project site that has been long-slated for hotel development is getting a new lease on life, one that will add to the growing life sciences hub in San Carlos. After several years of planning, Premia Capital intends to build a 138,710 square foot office and research and development building at 1091 Industrial Rd. The timing and new project product type could not be more serendipitous, coming at a time when hospitality has been hit hard while the life sciences industry continues to thrive.

In the summer of 2017, the San Carlos City Council had originally approved plans for a 173-room hotel on the site. The project was a joint venture by developers SWENSON and Huntington Hotel Group and was intended to be a Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. However, according to a city report, SWENSON and Huntington Hotel Group later decided not to pursue the project and subsequently sold the property to Redwood City-based Premia Capital. The property is currently developed with a two-story office building which totals 40,067 square feet. 

The asset will be demolished in order to make way for the new project. Premia Capital initially submitted its plans for its proposed life sciences project—dubbed Brittan West—in 2019. Under the new project guidelines, 70 percent—or about 97,300 square feet—will be used for research and development, while the remaining 41,700 square feet will be designated as office. The project also includes 279 parking spaces. A large atrium lobby, outdoor patios with a barbecue island, dining area, fireplace and game area are also denoted in the plans. A public plaza and café kiosk amenity will be located at the main entry of the building.

“Strategically sited within the surrounding context, the project is located at a key gateway from Hwy 101 to a main business and industrial hub of San Carlos, additionally the site is adjacent to the Caltrain corridor,” project documents state. “The building on site has been designed and located with the intention to revitalize the Industrial and Britton intersection and create a public plaza that will be an asset to both the buildings users and public by creating a buffered outdoor space to be shared with the neighboring commercial activities. This public benefit intends to knit together the community through design to provide space for a lively urban experience and encourage interaction between the Life Science employee culture and the community beyond.”

Designed by Brick Architecture and Interiors, the building’s design will be broken up into three components: a naturally-toned and warmed monolithic base, a glass ribbon and wood and metal cornice. The base will be made of stone-like materials with deep apertures to break up the massing of the building. The glass ribbon will be fashioned to have the appearance of a lightweight volume floating above the stone base. At the second and third levels, the massing is shifted slightly to emphasize the horizontality of the façade. The wood and metal cornice will work to anchor the glass and provide necessary solar shading. All three levels will be arranged around a central courtyard and “all hands” space. 

Timing for the project is unclear; however, the project has not yet started construction, according to the City of San Carlos’ website. JLL is actively marketing the project for lease.

As of this writing, Premia Capital had not yet returned The Registry’s request for comment.

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