Sun God Helios and King Gain Approval for Burlingame Life Science Building

Helios Real Estate Partners and King Street Properties have received approval from the Burlingame Planning Commission to move forward with their plans to construct a 300,000-square foot life sciences building in Burlingame. The San Francisco- and Boston-based developers plan to build an eight-story research building at 1699 Old Bayshore Highway and 825 Mahler Road, which will replace three existing buildings dating back to the 1960s.

The proposed building will be 151 feet tall and situated on 3 acres of land, featuring 16-foot ceilings and a seven-story parking garage. The developers acquired the property in 2022 for $45.2 million with the goal of creating a Class A life science office campus with parking, public outdoor space, and initially a cafe. However, the cafe was later removed from the plans, causing some concern among commissioners.

In order to proceed with the project’s construction, a special permit was required due to the building exceeding the height limit of 65 feet and the allowable floor-to-area ratio. To address these concerns, the developers proposed providing a 6,900-square-foot public plaza, sea level-rise infrastructure, public art, and a public trail along Mills Creek.

Commissioners raised questions about the public benefits of the project, specifically regarding the removal of the cafe and limited public parking spots. Peter Banzhaf, co-founder of Helios Real Estate Partners, explained that they were not willing to include a cafe as a condition of approval but were open to providing more parking to accommodate building users.

After much deliberation, the commission settled on the developer providing a minimum of 20 daytime parking stalls and contributing $100,000 towards the upgrade of Old Bayshore Highway frontage. This project is part of a larger development called The Landing, which includes the 503,500-square-foot South Building for research and the North Building for offices.

The timeline for construction of this project has not been disclosed yet, but it represents an important step in the development of the life sciences industry in Burlingame.

By Samantha Robertson

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