OCEANSIDE, CA-City planners have given the nod to preliminary design work onthe first phase of the 1.4-million sf Idec Pharmaceuticals Corp. manufacturing and research campus that will become the city’s largest private employer.

The planning commission has approved the company’s layout for the size, height and number of buildings, as well as plans for parking and landscaping on the 60-acre site in the Ocean Ranch Corporate Center in the Rancho del Oro area. Over the next decade, the project will total more than $1 billion and generate more than 2,000 local jobs.

Company plans call for 14 office and industrial buildings, most of which will be two stories. Construction on the first phase, two manufacturing buildings and an office facility, in 2002 or 2003. The second phase will be built in 2007 to 2008 and the third and fourth phases will extend through 2012. Idec makes cancer-fighting drugs and is developing a host of others, including treatments for arthritis and asthma.

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