Steelwave Plans 750,000 SQFT Mixed-Use District in South San Francisco

South San Francisco, Steelwave, Shamaim LLC, Safeway, San Bruno, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Austin, Phoenix

By Catherine Sweeney

Earlier this year, San Mateo-based developer Steelwave purchased a 14.5-acre site with plans for a Safeway grocery store in South San Francisco for $98 million. Now, the company is looking to redevelop the site as a mixed-use district, offering retail, life science and residential space.

“180 El Camino was one of few remaining opportunities to acquire scale within South San Francisco,” said Newmark’s Steve Golubchik at the time of the acquisition. “The depth of capital seeking to capitalize the opportunity was robust.”

Newmark’s Nicholas Bicardo, Edmund Najera, Jonathan Schaefler and Darren Hollak also worked on the deal.

The development site is located at 180 El Camino Real and will create 183 new homes and 750,000 square feet of life sciences space. The project will be divided into four lots, one of which has already been approved by the City. 

According to the City, plans for a Safeway were approved in August. However, proposed improvements to the site layout and building appearance remain under review. The Safeway store and associated retail areas, which would likely be completed in 2024, would cover three acres of the total 14-acre site. 

Plans for the approved portion of the project call for a 63,690 square-foot grocery store, 7,930 square feet of space for other retail tenants and 2,980 square-foot stand-alone retail pad. Project plans also call for a surface parking lot with space for 197 vehicles. 

“We know this has been a source of frustration for our residents, as well as our City Council, and we are happy to finally see some movement with this site,” said South San Francisco City Manager Mike Futrell at the time of the announcement. 

With designs from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the remaining portions of the project site will include a three-building office campus totaling 747,980 square feet. In addition, Steelwave plans to develop a 183-unit apartment building and parking for nearly 1,800 vehicles. 

Included in the residential portion of the project would be a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment units. In addition, the development would provide nine units for very low income households and 18 units for low-income households. 

The development site is located at El Camino Real and Spruce Boulevard, near a variety of other retail uses. The project is also two miles from the San Bruno BART station and in close proximity to Interstate 380. 

Steelwave operates across Northern California, as well as Southern California, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Austin and Phoenix. Since it was founded, Steelwave has acquired, developed and managed more than 1,500 multifamily units, 61.3 million square feet of industrial product and 38.45 million square feet of office product.

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