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SAN DIEGO-A locally based biomedical company has chosen a 60-acre site in the North County suburb of Oceanside for a research, development and manufacturing campus of up to 1.37 million sf.

Idec Pharmaceuticals, wrapping up a three-year site search that included theOtay Mesa area of South San Diego County as well as San Antonio, has settledon Stirling Development’s 393-acre Ocean Ranch Corporate Centre, accordingto Oceanside Economic Development Director Jane McVey.

If a city incentive package is approved as expected on Wednesday, Idec wouldopen escrow on the purchase of 60 acres for the first 362,000-sf phase ofthe project, slated for completion by July 2003, McVey tells GlobeSt.com.

By 2008, the development could reach 1.37 million sf and employ up to 2,400workers, she says. The deal could put the city about 30 miles north of SanDiego on the biotechnology map, she says.

“We’re very excited,” McVey says. “We have a commitment to [Idec to] approvethe project very quickly.”

Unlike Orange County or central San Diego County, Oceanside still has goodland availability for larger projects of 60 acres or more–at prices afraction of those areas, McVey says. Ultimately, that combination–alongwith the ready availability of purified water needed for biomedicalmanufacturing–swayed Idec’s site decision.

Idec has been negotiating with the city since last October. The companyproduces the anti-lymphoma drug Rituxan, which generated nearly $100 millionin sales during the second quarter. But Idec will use the new campus todevelop and manufacture drugs that are in testing trials for futuregovernment approval.

Steven J. Bollert of Burnham Real Estate Services is representing Idec inthe land negotiations. Daniel Lnosko of the San Diego office of ColdwellBanker Commercial represents Irvine-based Stirling Development.

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