E’ville Biz: Shellmound Way Developer Pivoting to Commercial; Marketplace Owners Acquire Bay Bridge Center; Gritstone Hunting for ‘Universal’ COVID Vaccine

Published On August 26, 2021 | By Rob Arias | Housing, Local Business, News & Commentary, Planning & Development

A selection of Emeryville-relevant business stories aggregated from around the web including two more life science projects in the pipeline.

The Bay Bridge Center, the site anchored by Wells Fargo at Powell & Christie, was recently acquired by Oxford properties. Oxford also recently acquired the Marketplace property that includes The Public Market earlier this year.

The site is familiar to residents as it was the site of a proposed 54-story, 638 unit tower that has since been withdrawn. Onni Group did not specify a reason for backing out of their proposed project.

Oxford has not submitted plans for the space but provided to The SF Business Times that it would be a mixed-use project “that adds to the growing life sciences industry and creates new jobs, homes and amenities for the community.”

The proposed ‘58Fifty’ Life Sciences tower would be Emeryville’s second tallest at 265′.

In addition, plans for a proposed 244 unit housing project at 5850 Shellmound Way is being amended to become a 14-story Life Sciences tower. The proposed 265′ tower would be Emeryville’s second tallest tower behind Pacific Park Plaza (320′).

The developer is looking to pivot from a residential project to a commercial project citing an environment not conducive to building housing. “A decision was made to stop pursuing a residential project on site,” they note in their updated plans (pg. 22). “The lack of interest from investors and creditors are due to the high construction costs, comparatively low rental levels, concerns around future rental controls in the State of California, concern about residential between the freeway and railway, and the lack of market standard parking spaces led the team to conclude that residential on site was an infeasible use.”

If approved, the tower would be one of five large life science projects planned within the city including BioMed Realty, Wareham’s EmeryStation Overland project, plans for a renovated Atrium Building, The ongoing Marketplace expansion and a possible Hollis Business Center conversion.

Emeryville’s Planning Commission will hold a study session for the proposal tonight at 6:30 p.m. where they are expected to press the developer on why they think a residential project is no longer feasible.

Read the full staff report on Emeryville.org.


Bay Bridge Center

Emeryville Public Market owner snags second site in the city

By Sarah Klearman

Oxford Properties Group has made its second purchase in Emeryville this year, buying a site once pitched for the tallest building in the East Bay.

The Toronto-based real estate investor paid $31 million for two parcels at 5801 and 5861 Christie Ave., according to public records. Harvest Properties and Invesco were the sellers.

Read More on The SF Business Times (paywall may apply)


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New life sciences tower pitched for Emeryville

By Sarah Klearman

Developers have submitted a new plan — a 14-story life sciences tower — for an Emeryville site previously slated for residential and retail development.

CA Ventures and Shellmound Christie Corp. are proposing a nearly 400,000-square-foot building on1.5 acres at 5850 Shellmound Way. Shellmound, affiliated with Innovative Interfaces and SkyRiver Technology founder Jerry Kline, has owned the property since 1993.

Read More on The SF Business Times (paywall may apply)


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On the hunt for a ‘universal’ COVID-19 vaccine as Delta variant surges

By Jeremy Kahn

The prospect of a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine that could offer protection against future virus variants took a step closer to reality this week.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has agreed to provide $20.6 million in funding to a six-year-old biotechnology company called Gritstone, based in Emeryville, Calif., to help it test a “universal” COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more on Fortune.com.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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