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.




Bayer in Berkeley – Where Innovation Happens 


Bayer’s Animated Site Master Plan for its Berkeley campus


About the Bayer Site in Berkeley Today

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’s New Campus Master Plan

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.


Continuing the Development Agreement with the City of Berkeley

In March 2020, Bayer applied to extend its Development Agreement with the City of Berkeley to set the stage for completing its master plan over the next 30 years.


History of the Development Agreement

Twenty-eight years ago, the City of Berkeley and Miles Inc (now Bayer HealthCare LLC) entered into a 30-year Development Agreement (DA) that planned for long-term development and investment in one of the earliest biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. That 1992 DA was the culmination of a collaboration between industry and public sector leaders.


Through the years, the DA framework has provided consistent benefits.


  • For the City, the DA ensures a stable development environment for its largest private employer and an important partner in regional community efforts. Through the DA, Bayer has provided major community benefits and mitigation payments which have totaled $30 million since 1992. These investments have ranged from public infrastructure to the creation of the Presidential award-winning Biotech Partners program, which trains underserved local youth for career-track jobs in the sciences. The company looks forward to continuing to serve the community through an extended DA. Extending the DA enables these productive relationships to grow well into the 21st century and will provide the City with benefits it otherwise could not obtain through other permitting processes.
  • For Bayer, the DA provides the company with clear, consistent and streamlined site development processes which encourage further investments on the campus. Since 1992, Bayer has been able to develop its campus and modify operations to address rapidly evolving scientific, technological and competitive environments. This successful partnership safeguards Bayer’s ability to grow in order to develop and manufacture specialized medicines. Bayer plans to continue to modernize and adapt this campus to meet changing strategic objectives and looks to continue the DA which has enabled the company to rapidly build the facilities needed to thrive in a competitive industry.


Bayer’s Proposed Extension of the Development Agreement

Bayer’s application to the City of Berkeley Planning Department describes updates to the existing provisions of the DA and supports Bayer’s long-term pharmaceutical and biotechnology business strategy. The DA extension is aligned with the company’s new site master plan for its Berkeley campus.


Key elements of Bayer’s application:


  • Extends the DA for another 30 years to February 2052 and consolidates the DA and a separate south property use permit into one agreement to harmonize development in the two areas and guide development requirements for the entire campus.
  • Remains within the allowed development square footage parameters of the DA and the south property use permit. The net increase of development from 2020 to 2052 would be about 651,000 square feet with a total maximum facility area of about 1.74 million square feet and is less than the allowable mixed manufacturing land use zoning.
  • Increases open space. Whereas the existing site features three acres of open space on Bayer's properties, the proposed redevelopment envisions nine acres of open space.
  • Proposes that the blocks, or areas, defining building heights across the campus be streamlined and reduced from eight to four. The four blocks redistribute height limits while maintaining the view corridors protected in the current DA. These blocks define usage and height combinations proposed for this campus and include areas for buildings up to 45 feet in height for all uses with select areas for up to 65 feet in height and a limited area for production buildings with a maximum building height of 80 feet. The DA application includes detailed schematics of this proposal.
  • Increases green space on the site perimeter to better integrate with the urban setting. This green perimeter is foreseen as a Bayer-maintained urban park space for community use along 7th Street and Dwight Way. Bayer’s plan reduces surface parking while accommodating potential employment of up to approximately 2,000 people at full build out.


First Step in the Public Process Expected Later in 2020

The first step in the City’s review of Bayer’s application to extend the DA is a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) required assessment of the environmental impact of the proposed master plan. CEQA provides multiple opportunities for public comment and agency review throughout the process. Bayer looks forward to engaging with the community on this process to extend the DA.


Community Engagement and Virtual Meetings


Stories about Bayer in the Bay Area

1.SFBT-Bayer has big plans


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


2.BS-Launching Careers Early


Launching careers early -- Biotech Partners high school program drives diversity in talent pipeline (sponsored: October 2020, Berkeleyside)


3.BS.Bayer Berkeley Plans to Double


Bayer Berkeley plans to double workforce, significantly grow campus, over next 30 years (July 2020, Berkeleyside)


4.BS.Wondering how to re-open


Wondering how to re-open your business safely? Learn from the experience of an expert (sponsored: June 2020, Berkeleyside)


5.SFBT.Taking Biotech Partnering To The Next Level


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


$600,000 Grant To Help Combat Hunger In Berkeley (May 2020, KCBSN Bay Area)


6.BS.Game changing grant


‘Game-changing’ $600,000 grant from Bayer Fund will support Berkeley Food Network, Alameda County Community Food Bank (May 2020, Berkeleyside)


7.SFBT.This East Bay Biotech


This East Bay biotech's big 30-year plan: 1 million more square feet, 1,000 more employees (April 2020, San Francisco Business Times)


8.SFBT.As it looks to build out


As it looks to build out Berkeley campus, Bayer studies 'options' for Mission Bay R&D center, incubator SFBT – Mission Bay Lease search – (July 2020, San Francisco Business Times)


9.Chron.One of Bay Areas largest


One of the Bay Area’s largest manufacturers is about to get bigger (May 2019, San Francisco Chronicle)


10.SFBT.Bayer to spend 150 million


Bayer to spend $150 million in Berkeley to speed development of biotech drugs (May 2019, San Francisco Business Times)


11.SF Mission Bay


San Francisco’s Mission Bay life science sector: pivoting with the times (October 2019, Stat)