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Real Property Leasing

Learn about Information about leasing off campus space as either landlord or tenant.

The Real Property Leasing (RPL) team manages the leasing of all off-campus office, medical office, classroom, lab, flex, and other commercial space uses on behalf of the UC San Diego campus (UCSD) and the UC San Diego Health system (UCSDH) as tenant. The RPL team is also responsible for leasing UCSD-owned investment assets known as LINK, Converge and Element to both UCSD user groups and third-party tenants.

Leasing UCSD-Owned Properties

Off-Campus leasing opportunities.

On-Campus leasing opportunities.

Leasing Off-Campus Space for UCSD Staff & Faculty

UCSD and UC San Diego Health’s off-campus lease portfolio currently comprises 127 leases totaling approximately 1.4 million square feet of office, medical office, lab, classroom, and flex space located mainly throughout San Diego County. The RPL team works closely with each department’s leadership to secure the appropriate space for each requirement. This is a multi-step process, which will vary in the length of time to complete depending on the complexity of the transaction. Proper planning is essential to complete each lease transaction in a timely and orderly manner. Below please find a detailed outline of the steps necessary to complete each lease transaction.


The first step in initiating a request to lease space off campus begins with the Off-Campus Space Request (OCSR) short form. This version of the OCSR is filled out by the requesting department with as much information as possible concerning the need for off-campus real estate. Once submitted, the OCSR will be sent directly to the RPL team where a representative will then reach out to discuss the department’s request in further detail.  Information that will be needed includes the following:

  • Department/VC area
  • Desired geographical area
  • Anticipated square footage required (size of the space)
  • Particular use of the space- office, medical office, lab, etc.
  • Initial programming requirements
  • Length of lease term
  • Number of staff to accommodate
  • Time frame


A survey of available space will be produced and reviewed by the Real Property Leasing team to determine sites that best meet the requirements of the user group. This includes vetting for rental rates, location, age of building and potential seismic compliance, condition of existing space, code compliances such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), etc. A list of potential sites will then be presented to the user group to select which sites to tour, which will form a short list of options. After completing on-site visits to the various properties, a final list will be made as to the top and secondary choices from which to request proposals from the relevant landlords. In some cases, a seismic evaluation will be necessary to make sure a location passes the University of California seismic guidelines. All locations in which any UCSD group leases space must meet seismic guidelines.


The next step in the process will be issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to each building on the final site shortlist. Once proposals are received from the landlords, the RPL team will prepare a comparative and financial analysis of lease specifics such as:

  • Term
  • Base Rental Rate
  • Operating Expenses Annual Base Rent Increases
  • Tenant Improvement Allowances
  • Parking and Parking Costs
  • Renewal and Expansion Options
  • Leasing Concessions
  • Overall Occupancy Costs

Based on the preference of each selected site and the comparative costs, further negotiations will take place between the landlords and the RPL team to reach a final, best possible, set of terms and conditions which will be incorporated into a Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI will form the basis upon which the lease agreement will be drafted.


Upon mutual agreement of the LOI, the RPL will prepare the Data and Approval document (D&A). The D&A outlines in detail all financial terms and conditions of the proposed lease transaction and will be routed to department leaders for approval. Once the D&A is approved, the lease will be drafted and legal negotiations of the lease agreement will begin.


In coordination with the RPL team, each user group will work closely with the architects and designers to begin all space planning and tenant improvements according to the terms of the lease. Initial space planning is performed during the initial negotiation process prior to finalizing the LOI so that costs and layout of the space can be verified to work within the specific parameters of each space requirement. After the lease is signed, the construction drawings will be prepared, incorporating full details of design layout, electrical and mechanical requirements and all finish selections. Once construction drawings are complete, they will be sent out for bid to multiple general contractors with the lowest responsible bid being chosen to complete construction. Simultaneously during the bid process, the construction drawings will be submitted for the issuance of a building permit. Once the permit is in hand, which can take six (6) months or longer to receive, construction will begin. The duration of the Tenant Improvement process can vary depending on the variables above and the complexity of the project. The RPL team will discuss each project to evaluate the length of time to complete construction.


Each department needs to prepare for their move by reaching out to Moving Services, IT, and any other vendors associated with setting up the new location. Departments should engage vendors early in the process as lead times for services and equipment can vary depending on availability.


No less than eighteen months prior to the expiration of a lease, the RPL team will reach out to the user groups to start discussions about a possible renewal or relocation. This will allow enough time to evaluate options and determine an appropriate strategy.


The Real Property Leasing team is here to help with all aspects of leasing space off campus. This also includes coordination of updated Insurance Certificates for landlords, filing property tax exemption forms annually, working with Risk Management to limit any risk exposures, and assisting with the review and monitoring of annual common area maintenance charges and increases.

For more information, contact Real Estate, (858) 534-1488.