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Massive biotech hub planned for San Diego's waterfront

IQHQ_SD RaDD Waterfront South Exterior HR.jpg
Posted at 12:41 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 20:33:28-04

SAN DIEGO — SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A life science development firm has unveiled plans to transform eight acres along San Diego's waterfront into a mixed-use hub that could attract numerous leading edge companies to the city.

Development firm IQHQ announced Monday that it closed on the site along Harbor Drive and will break ground on the project's first phase this week. The firm says it has entitlements and key permits for new office, lab and support retail space for the complex, called the San Diego Research and Development District, or RaDD. In a news release, the firm said this would be the largest urban commercial waterfront site along the Pacific Coast.

The development is sure to bolster an already vibrant life sciences industry in San Diego, with biotechs clustered mostly in the Torrey Pines area. This could attract more to relocate downtown. The project would be the third major commercial development in downtown, along with the Padres plan to build office space at Tailgate Park, and the redevelopment of Horton Plaza into a tech hub.

"This is probably, in terms of the commercial sector, the most important pivotal moment in San Diego's modern redevelopment history," said Gary London, of commercial real estate consulting firm London Moeder Advisors.

IQHQ chief executive Stephen Rosetta told ABC-10News this was the premier site to build on the west coast, if not the entire USA.

"This project is really special to us because we're headquartered here in San Diego, and the partners live locally and have for most of our lives," he siad.

IQHQ bought the property from Manchester Financial Group for undisclosed terms. Manchester Financial recently completed the new U.S. Navy Headquarters, on the north end of the site, with move-ins scheduled for October. Manchester also still holds the part of the property for a 1,035 room hotel and a 1.9 acre plaza.