Lighthouse Real Estate bought a 14,000-square-foot San Francisco property in December 2021 with the plans to redevelop it into a life science lab site.
The previous owner was developer Chris Foley, who had made plans with the city in 2017 to tear down the property and build a 223,000-square-foot building. Along with his Common Ground Urban Development team, Foley had the idea to rent out the building to non-profit organizations for about sixty percent of the usual market rate. The discount rate was due to federal tax credits partially financing the now-defunct development.
Common Ground told Curbed SF in 2017 that the original plan for the property would be to raze the two-story building and replace it with a five-story building, complete with ten office condos for sale. The project would also “provide (92) new parking spots, a 2,300-square-foot courtyard, as well as a 13,000-square-foot roof deck spanning. The firm estimates it would cost around $40 million to build.”
The paperwork filed by Chris Foley for the planning department is also available on Curbed SF:
“A 172,000-foot new construction commercial condominium in San Francisco's Mission District being specially constructed with a turnkey development approach to house nonprofits. [...] As owners of commercial condos, nonprofits will be able to manage the long-term maintenance of their facility and stabilize their ongoing operating budgets.”
Instead, Boston developer Lighthouse Real Estate bought the SF property at a $31 million price tag to replace it with a 185,000-square-foot life science lab facility.
Richard Sucre of San Francisco’s Planning Department told the San Francisco Business Times that development at 1850 Bryant Street is ready to go whenever. The Planning Department approved a request in October to change the development from commercial condominiums to labs. The city has also issued permits for shoring, excavation, and building.
Lighthouse Real Estate’s portfolio includes fourteen total properties all over the country, including three San Francisco developments: 188 Octavia Boulevard in Hayes Valley, The Fitzgerald Hotel in Mission, and part of Yerba Buena Island. While none of the projects seem to be completed yet, the developments seem to be specialized for both residential and retail/commercial uses. In contrast, the Yerba Buena Island development is residential, complete with a recreational park, a dog park, a secluded beach, water transit, and a private clubhouse full of amenities. The investment group even has a Regional Representative for Lighthouse’s San Francisco Bay Area Operations.
The decision to sell the building is unclear at this time. The Business Times contacted him for a comment but was proven to be unsuccessful.
With the addition of the Lighthouse property, San Francisco’s life science real estate market does not leave a lot of room for more development. At the end of the 2021’s third quarter, only 10,000 square feet was available and vacancy rate is only at 0.57 percent. According to Kidder Matthews data, life sciences tenants are supposedly finding better availability in the San Mateo, Alameda and Santa Clara counties.