TheLab Foster City, a 120,000 SQFT Commercial Office Project, Reaches Environmental Review

TheLAB, Foster City, Steelwave, Helios Real Estate, DES Architects + Engineers
Courtesy of Steelwave

By Meghan Hall

TheLab Foster City, a new Class A life sciences building, is making its way through the local entitlements process. Proposed by Steelwave and Helios Real Estate, the project would include a new, four-story building totalling 120,164 square feet and replace a restaurant. Recently, the project’s draft environmental impact report was released, reaching a significant milestone in the entitlement process.

Located at 388 Vintage Park Drive, the project would also include 210 vehicle parking spaces, about 28,000 square feet of open space, and site improvements. In all, the project site totals 2.2 acres, and the new building would sit in the middle of the lot. The second and third floors of the building would each be 33,000 square feet in size, while the fourth floor would total 27,000 square feet. A mechanical penthouse would occupy 20,000 square feet on the rooftop. 

The project will be designed to meet increasing market demands for life sciences and research and development spaces. The draft EIR notes that of the proposed square footage, about 50 percent would be reserved for laboratory uses, while the remaining would be allocated towards office space. Both office and lab spaces would be evenly distributed throughout the upper three floors. Additionally, a six thousand square foot terrace will be located on the fourth level, while the ground level would contain parking.

“Sitting on a prime 2.2-acre site located in Foster City, theLAB is located within an established burgeoning biotech and life science cluster that continues to expand and is currently home to large-scale users,” Steelwave’s website states. 

Project documents indicate that Steelwave and Helios are hoping to create a development that not only aligns with the Foster City General Plan, but activates a “significant but previously neglected” intersection at the gateway to the Vintage Park neighborhood. The project team also contends in documents that it will create more economic development opportunities within the City, while enhancing its reputation for life sciences companies across the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Currently, the property is developed with an existing single-story, 10,120 square foot building. The building was originally built in 1990 and was occupied by El Torito, a restaurant, until November of 2018. While the property is zoned for retail/restaurant uses, it is also located within the Research/Office Park area of Foster City’s General Plan. City documents note that there are increasing levels of new construction in the area, as well.

Steelwave is targeting to complete the project by the fourth quarter of 2023. However, the development team has a number of hurdles to clear before construction can begin. A final environmental impact report must be issued and adopted by the City, and the project team must secure a number of permits, including a Specific Development Plan Permit, Transportation Permit and others. A General Plan Amendment and property rezoning must also occur. If such approvals are procured, Steelwave could start construction this coming spring. Construction is expected to last about 17 months.

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

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News