Home > Environmental   +   Structures

El Dorado Debuts Innovative New San Francisco R&D Building by Developer Spear St., “Purpose-Built for Next-Gen Creators”

El Dorado Debuts Innovative New San Francisco R&D Building by Developer Spear St., “Purpose-Built for Next-Gen Creators”

Design architect El Dorado, with Josh Shelton and San Francisco firm Form4, unveil a sophisticated, zero-carbon R&D and light manufacturing hub in city’s Design District

SAN FRANCISCO — Debuting one of the first all-electric, zero-carbon new buildings in the region, El Dorado has announced their completion of 300 Kansas, a future- looking laboratory, R&D and light industrial complex in Potrero Hill’s Design District, remarkable for its jewel-box glass facades and metal scrim. Unique in its class, 300 Kansas stands as the first ground-up development in the category of a purpose-built urban building for advanced R&D, as well as one of the first U.S. projects designed to meet the stringent standards of the International Living Futures Institute (ILFI) pilot program for zero-carbon speculative developments.

According to Spear Street, a nationally active and successful real estate development group known equally for its low profile as much as its pioneering commercial investments, 300 Kansas offers a “21st-century light manufacturing building for the emerging economies of San Francisco.” With all-electric systems and conceived for very low embodied carbon, the very sustainable, six-story development offers a prime location along with qualities attracting high- tech leaders in autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), and other cutting-edge fields.

The design, a collaboration of El Dorado and Form4 along with architect Josh Shelton, breaks the mold for the Potrero Hill’s growing Design District, creating a modern, international presence amid the diverse, older industrial and warehouse structures in the area. “This is the first manufacturing building to be built here in a generation,” says David Dowell, AIA, partner with the acclaimed national firm El Dorado. “It takes a new and decidedly modern direction, reinterpreting Potrero Hill’s building forms and maker history to point toward a new future for high-tech headquarters that help define great neighborhoods.”

Adds the project architect John Renner, R.A., “Reinterpreting San Francisco’s bay window tradition, married with a sawtooth industrial window approach to bring in even, northern light deep inside the interior spaces both on the east and west facades, add memorable signature moments as they allow the roofscape to become a verdant park with skyline views.”

The 150,000-square-foot headquarters-ready complex is designed to better than LEED Gold, adds Dowell, replete with bike lockers and showers, proximity to mass transit, and 24 subterranean parking spaces with electrical vehicle charging. Its glistening image and prominence on Potrero Hill’s slope offer a very visible and singular image — and a valuable signage opportunity — spotted easily by passersby on the main freeways and city arteries. Situated in the Design District, the area where a dozen AI companies and startups have recently settled, the building is also within easy reach of downtown as well as South San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

“The 300 Kansas design concept is equal parts tech industry specs as well as pure urban experience and work-life enjoyment,” says Dowell, whose teams at El Dorado are working in other cities such as Seattle, Indianapolis, Omaha, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Kansas City, Houston, and Portland, Oregon. “What we’re seeing in innovation districts and attractive downtown work zones is exactly what went into 300 Kansas, making it a magnet for high-tech makers, R&D companies, and laboratory-based innovators.”

Adds Spear Street Capital President Rajiv Patel, “We see 300 Kansas as the tip of the iceberg in a new style of workspace across the advanced manufacturing and R&D industries in urban areas across the country. As more developments adopt this build style, 300 Kansas will serve as a useful reference and model for what modern R&D spaces can look like — and the productivity and innovations they can spark.”

El Dorado, a national architecture firm founded three decades ago, brings a reputation for original and responsive works of architecture and urban design that support local economies, business and urban places. Widely recognized for its work — and recipient of design awards from the AIA, Azure Magazine, Italy’s The Plan magazine and the Chicago Athenaeum — El Dorado nurtures a collaborative practice encompassing diverse and talented design professionals in pursuit of client goals, “chasing big ideas in the middle of everywhere.” Recent works by El Dorado include the headquarters of Kansas City Public Television, the St. Louis Gateway South Innovation District, Denver’s block- sized Market Station mixed use development and urban experience, and the Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium.

Spear Street Capital is an owner and operator of distinctive office properties located in the United States, Canada and Europe. The group acquires assets that have reached an inflection point where intensive leasing efforts or well-considered physical changes can have a decisive effect on value.