Bayer in Berkeley

Transforming Bayer’s Biopharmaceutical Campus in Berkeley

Building on its strong foundation in biologics development and biomanufacturing in Berkeley, Bayer plans to diversify operations. The company will be investing in new facilities and technologies that speed the development and launch of specialty medicines.

In the past 30 years, the Berkeley site has largely been dedicated to the development and manufacture of medicines for people with hemophilia. New plans for the site will accommodate these operations in a smaller footprint and evolve to meet the needs of specialty medicine. Bayer plans to leverage breaking scientific advances and highly flexible facilities to accelerate next generation medicines for cancer, cardiovascular and other patients. Our cutting-edge campus will be designed to attract and engage top talent and will offer the amenities to connect them in a way that celebrates science and innovation.


Bayer’s biopharmaceutical operations are located about 2.5 miles from downtown Berkeley along the western edge of the city. The site encompasses 46 acres of manufacturing and laboratory space as well as administrative offices. More than 1,000 employees on site develop new products and manufacture Bayer’s three commercially marketed treatments that help people with hemophilia A lead more active lives with this rare disease.


The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the world’s most recognized biopharmaceutical innovation ecosystems. It is the perfect location to continue advancing novel therapies from our research teams while also collaborating with academic institutions and other life sciences companies.


Bayer in Berkeley – Where Innovation Happens 


The vision is a campus which minimizes building footprints and maximizes collaborative space. The design seeks to adhere to modern land use principles that encourage establishing a sense of purpose and community. By leveraging novel technologies and flexible facilities, Bayer also aims to reduce the time needed to develop and launch new drug therapies by several years.


The three goals of the master plan are to:


  1. Maximize the productive use of the land and current buildings to take new treatments through development and manufacturing by:
    • Ensuring flexibility to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities and challenges.
    • Optimizing the efficiency of site configuration to maximize benefits to our operations, employees and the community.
  2. Advance Bayer's ability to attract and retain top talent and partners in order to position the Berkeley campus at the forefront of scientific innovation to improve patient outcomes.
  3. Promote health of employees through wellness features. These include open green space, pedestrian and bicycle circulation, and other amenities that create a unified campus. Consistent design principles will ensure a sense of community within the campus while integrating with the surrounding neighborhood.


Bayer’s Animated Site Master Plan for its Berkeley campus



    What is the Development Agreement (DA)?

    Crafted in 1992 the original DA between Bayer and the City of Berkeley was the first of its kind in the city and provided a model for other cities on public-private partnerships that spur economic growth and encourage community investment. It secured development rights enabling Bayer to manufacture vital treatments for patients around the world and guaranteed funds to help a community thrive.


    Why is an extension of the DA proposed?

    Extending the DA continues to forward those same goals of developing and producing medicines for patients globally while also helping the Berkeley community thrive for another 30 years. The DA extension ensures Bayer’s ability to transform its biotech operations locally while:

    • Ensuring the City of Berkeley remains competitive for infrastructure investments from the global life sciences company 
    • Setting the stage for growth of an anchor manufacturer and biotech enterprise in West Berkeley that employs a diverse workforce with job opportunities from high school to PhD
    • Providing strict guidelines for how Bayer is to develop its facilities in a way that protects neighbors and the environment
    • Maintaining view corridors and mitigating traffic impacts
    • Securing $33 million in community investment by Bayer over the next 30-year term focused on STEAM education, community resiliency in West Berkeley, affordable housing, arts and childcare.

    For all published documents related to the Development Extension, please visit the City of Berkeley website


    What development rights does Bayer secure?

    • Preservation of existing uses: Production, Lab, Warehouse, Utility, Maintenance, Admin, and Parking
    • Retains heights allowed under the current agreement (45’, 65’ and 80’) to enable biotech manufacturing processes while adjusting the location of the zones for more efficient operations
    • Ensures predictable permit approval (AUP) process  
    • Supports a total development capacity of 1.74m square feet of total development (0.12m fewer square feet than the current DA entitlement allows)


    What are the community benefits for Berkeley if the DA extension is approved?

    As consideration for entering into the Development Agreement and contingent upon approval of Bayer’s requested zoning and permitted uses, entitlements and processes, Bayer will provide an annual investment for community benefits and full impact fees for the full development of the site regardless of whether all facilities are actually built.


    In 2022, Bayer’s initial community benefits investment would equal $800,000. That initial amount would increase each year by 2%, with the investment totaling $1,460,000 in 2052. The total cash investment over the term of the agreement total $33.1 million.


    The City has determined, based on community feedback gathered over the nearly two-year long review process of Bayer’s proposed DA extension and the related CEQA process, that Bayer will invest the funds across five investment categories. Percentages for each category are indicated in the table below with examples of Bayer’s investment in each in year 1 and year 30.






    1. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math ("STEAM") Education, Career Technical Education (CTE) Partners




    1. West Berkeley Community Resiliency Funds




    1. City of Berkeley Affordable Housing Trust Fund (the “Housing Investment”)




    1. City of Berkeley Affordable Childcare Fund




    1. City of Berkeley Private Percent for Art Fund





    What is the timeline to extend the DA?

    Leadership of the two organizations have aligned on the terms of this agreement and the community benefits package represents the best and final offer from Bayer. There remain three action milestones in the public process at the City of Berkeley: Planning Commission meeting (October 20), first reading at City Council (November 30) and second reading and final action at City Council (Dec 14). 


    Are there specific ways the STEAM and CTE funds will be used?

    Based on community feedback, Bayer will continue its focus on paid internships for high school and community college students while enabling STEAM engagement in the TK-8th grades. A STEAM program selection committee organized by the City and Bayer (with members selected one third by the City, one third by Bayer and one third by mutual agreement), will oversee STEAM/CTE grants allocated as follows: 

    • TK-8th Grade – 10% (Ten Percent) 
    • High School career technical education and paid internships – 50% (Fifty Percent) 
    • Community College STEAM career pathways and paid internships – 40% (Forty Percent) 

    Through this program, Bayer will fund five-year grants and the committee will convene annually to assess the performance of the grantees. 


    Are there specific ways the funds for resiliency in West Berkeley will be used?

    Based on community feedback, resiliency investments by Bayer in West Berkeley will equally distributed among the following programmatic areas in a process led by a West Berkeley grant committee, with members selected by the City and Bayer in same manner as STEAM/CTE committee above: 

    • Climate action
    • Health equity 
    • Local economic resiliency

    Through this program Bayer will fund three-year grants and the committee will convene annually to assess the performance of the grantees. 


    Are there specific ways the funds for affordable Housing, affordable childcare and private percent for arts will be used?

    Bayer will make annual contributions according to the allocations table above to City-administered funding sources which will distribute funds according to City policy and practice. It’s important to note, that the proposed DA extension actually provides over 25% more funding to affordable housing than would be required by impact fees even with full build out of the site development plan. 


    Is Bayer making any other commitments that will benefit the community? 

    In addition to $33.1 million investments into the Berkeley community, Bayer has committed to non-monetary contributions: 

    1. Bayer employee volunteerism hours and mentorships 
    2. Local hiring outreach and promotion 
    3. Promotion of neighborhood events, e.g. community-building events, community meetings, and mailers for Bayer sirens and alarm systems 
    4. Non-monetary support for Career Technical Education (CTE) program (e.g. hosting qualified CTE internship programs on site as well as administrative and IT support for internship organizations) 
    5. Identification and, where possible, increase of specific commitments to contracting with minority-owned businesses 
    6. Sustainability commitments beyond compliance, e.g. sustainability practices that go beyond the required mitigation measures identified through CEQA process 
    7. Use of Bayer facilities, if available, for Berkeley Fire Department training 


    Are there other benefits to the community?

    The community benefits within the proposed DA extension are the “icing on the cake.” This agreement will allow Bayer to build facilities that will be used to make important medicines for people experiencing serious medical conditions for which treatment options are limited including but not limited to Parkinson’s Disease, Cardiovascular Disease and various cancers. The nearly one million square feet of new facilities will be built predominantly by union represented trades. Bayer’s Biotech operations are expected to increase Bayer direct employment by roughly 1,000 more jobs over existing employment levels and economic analysis by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute shows that for every job at Bayer another is created in the region. The projected economic impact of Bayer rises significantly in Berkeley and the Bay Area by 2052:

    • Berkeley: From $15 million to $29 million in 2052 – 97% increase
    • East Bay: From $222.5 million to $422.0 million in 2052 – 88% increase
    • Bay Area: From $353.2 million to $613.1in 2052 million – 74% increase


    How are environmental impacts of Bayer’s development of its site being mitigated?

    A comprehensive environmental review under CEQA of Bayer’s proposed development of its 46-acre West Berkeley site has been conducted with an outcome of no significant unmitigated environmental impacts identified. The Subsequent Environment Impact Report generated a mitigation program of requirements that range from clean energy sources, bird safe glass, to a robust Transportation Demand Management program including a shuttle to connect Bayer employees with BART.

    Learn how we're setting the stage for innovation and collaboration on our Berkley campus to help deliver better patient outcomes.

    Inclusive culture is Bayer’s priority to be the employer of choice among Bay Area biotechs 
    (sponsored: September 16, 2021, San Francisco Business Times)


    Cell therapy partnership between Bay Area biotechs offers hope to cancer patients 
    (sponsored: September 16, 2021, San Francisco Business Times)


    Bayer’s upcoming projects to create significant number of construction jobs 
    (sponsored: August 31, 2021, Berkeleyside)
    (sponsored: July 28, 2021, San Francisco Business Times)


    Bayer Berkeley campus development plan includes focus on career opportunities  (sponsored: August 27, 2021, San Francisco Business Times)



    Building Common Ground with our Neighbors (August 2021, Rebuilding Together East Bay-North)


    Bayer shutting down Mission Bay ‘innovation hub’ (June 14, 2021, San Francisco Business Times)


    Economic Impact: Bayer’s Biopharmaceutical Campus in Berkeley (sponsored: May 2021, San Francisco Business Times)

    Bayer Berkeley expansion could create 1,000 jobs: report (April 22, 2021, East Bay Times)



    Mission 2030: Bayer’s quest for climate neutrality (sponsored: February 26, 2021, San Francisco Business Times)



    Bayer has big plans in west Berkeley for the next 30 years (sponsored: October 2020, San Francisco Business Times)


    Taking biotech partnering to the next level to advance patient care (sponsored: May 2020, San Francisco Business Times)