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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.