FPBA celebrates groundbreaking of The Boardwalk with virtual reality, shiny shovels and lab-themed cuisine

With virtual reality, branded golden shovels, and science-themed catering, The Boardwalk project team—FPBA, Healthpeak, PMA, Swinerton, CBRE and others—gathered at Science Center Drive on Jan. 9, 2020, to commemorate the groundbreaking of a 195,000 SF research campus many years in the making.

This groundbreaking was not your average shoveling of dirt. With virtual reality headsets, FPBA brought an immersive experience that allowed attendees to step into the campus and see it in 360 degrees. An animated reel and renderings further depicted the vision of The Boardwalk.

“This is really meant to be a flagship asset for Healthpeak down here in San Diego,” said Mike Dorris, Vice President of Healthpeak. “We really strived to try to create a project that is going to be not only appreciated by the tenants that ultimately occupy the project but also the community at large.”

The Boardwalk Groundbreaking

Clique Hospitality catered a sampling of the menu to be offered at The Boardwalk’s full-service restaurant—including laboratory-themed offerings such as bubbly libations served in beakers and crab hand rolls fitted with soy-sauce-filled pipettes. The dining experience was a tasty reminder that The Boardwalk will be a charming spot to be enjoyed by the overall community. 

Swinerton provided elegant golden shovels branded with The Boardwalk logo to mark the occasion. CBRE matched the life-sized tools with miniature shovel-shaped bottle openers as a take-home memento. The commemoration was a coming together of a team that is proud of the work they have put into this vision, and excited to begin making that vision a reality.

FPBA has been involved in repositioning this campus for nearly 10 years, executing many design iterations to reach the ultimate design that will be built out. The Boardwalk will connect three buildings with a wooden circulation path to create a unified campus experience—featuring amenities like a full-service restaurant, one-acre park and expansive conference center.

“What started as two distinct buildings on separate land sites has now morphed into an aesthetically cohesive, three-building, amenity-rich campus,” Dorris said. “It’s a project that’s going be functional for the life science community that we have here in San Diego, but it’s also just a really aesthetically pleasing, elegant design.”

FPBA is thrilled to continue working with Healthpeak, PMA and Swinerton during construction and see the design come to fruition. More information on The Boardwalk can be found here.



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