San Diego Research and Development District (RaDD): How it will transform the city

by | Dec 4, 2020 | Commercial Property News

In September 2021, the Solana Beach-based real estate investment trust (REIT) company IQHQ completed the acquisition of 1.5 billion dollars of commercial property in the city of San Diego for its life science projects.

The new massive development is called the ‘San Diego Research and Development District (RaDD)‘ and is expected to transform downtown real estate.

IQHQ’s Research and Development District includes a series of mid-rise office buildings and one 17-story tower, all facing the Pacific Ocean. (Photo courtesy of IQHQ)

According to IQHQ, it is situated on more than eight acres – representing the largest urban commercial waterfront site along California’s Pacific coast.

IQHQ’s Research and Development District includes a series of mid-rise office buildings and one 17-story tower, all facing the Pacific Ocean. (Photo courtesy of IQHQ)

IQHQ broke ground on the $1.5 billion San Diego life sciences campus in September, and its completion is slated for 2023. This development may prove to be a boom for other real estate investors who are searching for opportunities to expand their market share.

The billion-dollar project would be the third significant commercial development, along with the Padres’s new planned office space at Tailgate Park, and the redevelopment of Horton Plaza into a tech hub.

The CEO of IQHQ, Stephen Rosetta, told the San Diego Tribune;

“Even though we’re a young company, we’re not a young team. We’ve been doing this and focused on the life science industry since its inception, with (Gold) founding BioMed and Alexandria. That’s what investors have confidence in,” Rosetta said. “We raised a lot of money to be able to compete with (Alexandria and BioMed), and not to do one-off projects. … We know where the demand is, and we’re looking to (build where) tenants want to be.”

Rosetta concluded, “It’s the best place for the best people to create the best science,” he said. “We’re confident our project is going to transform the downtown market. It’s something that’s really going to be transformational.”

“The Research and Development District is exciting on so many levels – not only does it represent our first acquisition in the San Diego region, which IQHQ is proud to call home, we also have an opportunity to create the first truly urban waterfront campus dedicated to the advancement of life sciences,” said Tracy A. Murphy, President of IQHQ. “Once complete, the RaDD will be a premier development that will spark and define the region’s commercial life science market in San Diego similar to that of the Seaport District in Boston.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer had said this about the project;

“San Diego has some of the brightest minds and innovative companies that have made our region a hub for groundbreaking research and discoveries. The Research and Development District will transform our waterfront and bring top-tier life science companies to downtown.”

Gary London, of London Moeder Advisors, had said to ABC News;

“This is probably, in terms of the commercial sector, the most important pivotal moment in San Diego’s modern redevelopment history.”

According to CBRE, San Diego is the third-ranked life sciences cluster in the U.S.. It continues to be a hotbed for top talent and groundbreaking companies like Alexandria’s 113,000-square-foot GradLabs, and BioMed’s Center for Novel Therapeutics, which it is creating in partnership with the University of California San Diego.

“The life science industry is one of the main economic drivers in San Diego,” said San Diego-based Senior Vice President of CBRE, Ryan Egli. “This sector continues to see tremendous growth in the region, in large part due to the top talent that our local universities produce as well as the highly impactful research institutions and corporations that call San Diego home.”

IQHQ is the former brainchild of longtime life science pioneer Alan Gold, who founded BioMed Realty Trust and sold it to Blackstone Group in an $8 billion transaction.

The company seeks to help innovate the life sciences industry to acquire, develop and operate life science properties in the innovation hubs of San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston in the United States, and the Golden Triangle in the United Kingdom.

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