Construction starts on San Diego’s Pacific Center

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California Construction News staff writer

Construction has started on the Pacific Center, a new life sciences campus being developed in phases over four years in San Diego’s Sorrento Mesa submarket.

A ground-breaking launched phase one of construction, including 500,000 rentable square feet of brand-new, state-of-the-art scientific research space, a 28,000-square-foot amenity center, and a 1,700-space parking facility.

Project design comes from the horizontal stratification of the local geology, featured in the buildings’ architectural expression. Varying in scale, the ensemble of buildings works together to frame a central plaza and amenities space at the heart of the campus, providing a multi-functional destination for tenants and visitors alike.

The fist phase is set to open in the fourth quarter of next year. The rest of the $650 million campus will be completed over the next four years in the Sorrento Mesa submarket.

“Securing a loan for new construction in today’s economic climate is no small feat, which speaks to the confidence our finance partners have in Sterling Bay and Harrison Street’s unique approach to developing next-generation lab space,” said Andy Gloor, CEO of Sterling Bay. “San Diego’s life sciences ecosystem is thriving, and the demand for modern, highly amenitized research space is at critical max – we’re proud to provide facilities where brilliant innovation will take place while supporting the growth of critically important, life-saving industries along the way.”

Designed by Gensler, the campus will create  five structures. Pacific Center includes three lab buildings that will frame a central plaza and mass-timber amenity center, and a parking structure.

The amenity center will provide a multi-functional destination for tenants and visitors, including a food hall. Each lab building will combine ultramodern, fully equipped research spaces with modernized creative office amenities like on-site fitness and indoor/outdoor collaboration, conference, and meeting areas.

The campus’ design also prioritizes sustainability, incorporating eco-friendly elements into its build environment and operations, minimizing environmental impact, and providing occupants with a healthier, more productive environment.

“Our partnership with Sterling Bay on this exciting development was born out of our shared vision for delivering a best-in-class life sciences experience in San Diego,” said Mark Burkemper, Head of Transactions at Harrison Street. “We’re proud to collaborate on building a world-class facility that will advance Sorrento

Sterling Bay and Harrison Street have previously partnered on life sciences projects across the country, including approximately 1 million square feet of recently completed lab space in San Diego and Chicago. And the duo has more planned in Denver, Philadelphia and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

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