Pleasanton-based biotech company 10x Genomics, Inc., is ready to expand its corporate and research presence in the city by developing a new campus across Stoneridge Mall Road from its current headquarters.
The fast-growing company, which went public last year, looks to find needed new space by constructing three brand-new buildings for research and development (R&D), office and laboratory activities on the 14.6-acre property on the southeast corner of Springdale Avenue and Stoneridge Mall Road -- after tearing down the single-story buildings onsite currently anchored by Cost Plus World Market, which is closing.
The Pleasanton Planning Commission gave an initial review of the rezoning and redevelopment plan during a study session held virtually on Nov. 18.
"Comments were generally positive around the overall proposal and opportunity to provide a new campus for 10x Genomics, as a Pleasanton-based company. Staff was able to share that 10x Genomics today is actually among the city's top sales tax generators, addressing some questions/concerns that came up from the commission about converting this site from a retail use," Ellen Clark, the city's community development director, told the Weekly.
Last month's city workshop was designed as a chance for commissioners to provide early, overarching feedback on 10x Genomics' planned unit development (PUD) concept before a formal hearing on the refined plans -- expected to occur in the spring, according to Clark.
As a PUD application, the proposal would have to receive final approval from the City Council.
Founded locally in 2012, 10x Genomics produces biology research equipment and products with existing facilities in the Stoneridge Corporate Plaza on Stoneridge Mall Road and at the Koll Center in Pleasanton.
With a desire to grow operations, 10x Genomics has pursued redeveloping the commercial parcel at 1701 Springdale Ave. -- a property just south of Stoneridge Shopping Center that was linked to more Workday expansion before the pandemic. 10x Genomics has indicated it plans to continue occupying space at its existing Stoneridge site along with the new campus blocks away, Clark said.
The PUD proposal centers on fully demolishing the 163,500 square feet worth of commercial buildings in the retail center once anchored by the now-closed JC Penney Home Store.
City planning staff consider the 10x Genomics takeover and reinvention of the Springdale Avenue property as a positive development. Cost Plus is the only open store in the shopping center, with all other tenant units apparently vacant.
"The existing retail center has suffered from lack of investment and has had difficulty maintaining tenant occupancy over the past decade. Staff believes the proposed project is an opportunity to redevelop the site with a high-quality office/commercial project consistent with other similar projects within the immediate vicinity of the mall such as Workday," city associate planner Eric Luchini wrote in his staff report to the commission.
The development plan calls for constructing up to three new multi-story buildings totaling an estimated 381,000 square feet on the razed site for R&D, office and lab operations, along with a parking garage and related site improvements.
The project would be built in phases, with the first stage seeing one 100,000-square-foot building added to the north side of the property and parking lot enhancements within the next one to two years after city approval. The final stage, with the rest of the buildings and garage, would be in the longer term but completed by 2030.
The city is being asked to rezone the property from regional commercial to PUD-commercial office.
Architectural designs for building one and the environmental analysis are still pending at this point, but the Nov. 18 workshop allowed commissioners to offer input on the redevelopment proposal, including the overall land use, the conceptual site plan and traffic circulation, that could be incorporated into the final application.
"In terms of specific comments, the commission was interested in making sure the project related well and was connected for pedestrians and bike to the future development at Stoneridge Mall and neighboring residential uses, and with respect to building heights and setbacks," Clark said.
Some commissioners also suggested to 10x Genomics that its larger building be placed on the mall side of the site so that lower-height buildings would be closer to the residential neighbors, according to Clark.
"And, the commission was of course interested in any potential traffic impacts -- this is a topic that'll be studied as part of the environmental review that will look comprehensively at any project-related impacts," she added.
City staff expect the final plans to be presented to the Planning Commission for a hearing some time in the spring. If the commission supports the project, it would then head to the City Council for final approval.
Planning Commissioner Jack Balch, who was elected to the City Council on Nov. 3 and will be seated on the main dais later this month, did not participate in the commission's 10x Genomics workshop. Had he taken part in any discussion or decision on the project at the commission level, he would have to recuse himself from the future council deliberations -- to avoid a double dipping type of conflict of interest.