What are the business operations conducted by the building’s tenants?
Owned and operated by Summit Mesa Ridge, LLC, Inovio’s facility at 6769 Mesa Ridge Road is a manufacturing and office building in Sorrento Valley. It is Inovio’s third and newest building in San Diego with the second location at Wateridge Circle and another on the East Coast in Plymouth Meeting, PA. As a company, Inovio focuses on developing novel, DNA-based immunotherapies and vaccines for cancers and challenging infectious diseases. The Mesa Ridge facility focuses on device development used to deliver the DNA immunotherapy.
How many people work in the building?
The Mesa Ridge facility houses not only the Manufacturing Department, but also the Quality Assurance, Engineering, Finance and Accounting, HR, IT, and Facilities Departments. There are approximately 90 employees working primarily at Mesa Ridge.
How many square feet does the building encompass?
Mesa Ridge is approximately 53,000 square feet.
What makes the building unique?
Inovio had outgrown the Wateridge Facility after only a couple years, so expansion into Mesa Ridge was a much needed respite and opportunity to carve out a dedicated space for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Quality teams. Our ISO 13485 and MDD certified facility is where these teams conduct testing on our electroporation delivery device, refine consumable design, engineering, manufacturing, and distribution.
Despite the type of work that is conducted within the building, its open concept design with exposed ducts, indoor bench seating and TV wall, large windows that look into the labs, stained concrete blue floor mimicking the sea, and high ceilings with skylights all showcase the “biotech beach” culture that has become a trademark of San Diego.
What recreation options do employees receive?
Although we do not have an onsite gym at Mesa Ridge, many employees already have fitness in mind and often take it upon themselves to bike to work together, have onsite yoga classes, or go on walks before, during or after work. Mesa Ridge has four showers and allows the use of its interior space for employees to do these activities. Some also participate and compete in various biotech leagues such as soccer and softball, which Inovio sponsors. The company has also sponsored employees to participate in walks and marathons benefiting cancer organizations such as the American Cancer Society, or simply to physically challenge employees such as participation in the famed La Jolla half marathon.
What food options are available to employees?
Inovio employees work hard, so we aim to provide them with an environment that literally helps fuel them to do outstanding work with snacks and beverages. .
Can you describe the history of the building?
The Inovio Mesa Ridge facility is one of three buildings known as the Summit Ridge Business Park. Built in 2000, previous occupants were involved in manufacturing and distribution. It remained unoccupied for several years before companies became more interested in it with Inovio securing the lease in 2016. The industrial campus was acquired in 2017 by an affiliate of Miami Beach, FL-based Jewell Capital LLC.
What, if any, redevelopment, did the building undergo?
Finding Mesa Ridge was a bit serendipitous. Before it was chosen as the next Inovio facility, it had already undergone some pre-renovation work by another company who was interested in the space as well. Fortunately, their expansion plans fell through and after our own extensive, yet failed search in the surrounding area, Inovio finally came across it. It checked off a lot of our needs not only in size and layout, but since it had been used for manufacturing and distribution in the past, it was already equipped with many of the essentials we needed to move the engineering, manufacturing, and distribution teams over. Moreover, it also provided ample parking, proximity to the other building, and the ability to remain in the biotech center of Sorrento Valley.
Since it had already undergone some pre-renovation work, there wasn’t much else to do except open up the space even more, reconfigure some of the interior space to suit the teams’ needs, and, of course, add the special touches that the building has become known for such as the amphitheater-style, interior bench seating, stained concrete floor, exposed sky-high ceilings, and TV wall.
Submitted by Melanie Bamba, RSI Roofing & Solar
Photography by Rachel Williams, Brad Stoner Painting