Biotech project approved in San Carlos

An incubator for bio-science start-ups is planned for this building proposed at 1030 Brittan Ave. in San Carlos. Photo supplied by MBC Bio Labs.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The San Carlos Planning Commission tonight (July 19), approved plans for a roughly 100,000-square-foot biotech building and discussed the massive 1.5 million square foot biotech project both proposed for the city’s growing biotech district on its east side.

The commission approved the project for 1030 Brittan Ave., a three-story, 96,175-square-foot life sciences building proposed by MBC BioLabs, which already has a building down the street at 930 Brittan.

MBC BioLabs is a life science incubator for biotech startups where they can begin while they get funding and other resources, explained Ryan Guibara of Dewey Land Company, the developer for MBC’s project.

Although commissioners were glad to see the parking lot at 1030 Brittan to go, some, along with a few residents, had questions about impacts on Pulgas Creek and flooding.

Resident Debbie Baldocchi said she and some other residents who live near the creek are worried about floods and have had to leave their homes due to flooding. Baldocchi was leery of MBC’s request to pave a little closer to the creek than typically allowed. But Guibara explained that the current parking lot is already that close to the creek, MBC just needs to tear out the current asphalt and replace it so fire trucks and other emergency vehicles can use it.

Resident Laura Teutschel said she thinks MBC is respecting the creek and is in support of the project.

Second proposal on the agenda

The other project the commission reviewed tonight, that of Alexandria Real Estate, prompted environmental concerns from residents and commissioners.

The six-story biotech campus that will total 1.5 million square feet is slated for the area between Old County Road, Commercial Street, Industrial Road and Pulgas Creek, with the address of 987 Commercial St.

The site includes the former headquarters of Kelly Moore Paints, which led some residents to ask the commission to ensure hazardous materials the paint company might have left in the soil are investigated as part of the Environmental Impact Report for the project.

Commissioner Ellen Garvey referenced the emails and said that while Kelly Moore came around in 1978, around the same time that the EPA banned lead paint, she said she hopes the EIR determines if there are any toxins on the site related to lead paint.

However, Garvey said she’s anticipating “minimal” traces of lead on the site.

Three of the five residents who spoke during tonight’s Zoom meeting all said they hope Alexandria emphasizes the use of mass transit as a way to get workers to the site.

Resident K. Goforth said the 3,662 parking spaces slated for the site seem like a lot of parking for a project that is supposed to emphasize other modes of transit.

The project is anticipated to bring in some 7,000 employees, doubling the city’s workforce to 14,000.

The commission did not vote on the Alexandria project tonight. Instead the panel gave city Principal Planner Lisa Costa Sanders feedback on what the environmental review should include.