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city, San Mateo county, western California, U.S. Situated at the southern base of San Bruno Mountain, it lies about 3 miles (5 km) south of San Francisco on U.S. Highway 101 Bypass. The area was formerly part of Rancho Buriburi, a Mexican land grant designated in 1835. Much of the land was eventually bought by Henry Miller and Charles Lux, who built a large estate there. Peter Iler subsequently purchased the land, and the city was laid out in 1890. South San Francisco subsequently became heavily industrialized, with meatpacking, steel and other metal fabrication, chemical processing, and other manufacturing. The city has since become a centre of the biotechnology industry, which includes Genentech (founded 1976). South San Francisco boasts an attractive residential section with a view of San Francisco Bay. The most visible city attraction is a large sign, constructed in 1923, that reads "South San Francisco The Industrial City," located on Sign Hill. San Francisco International Airport lies just to the south. Inc. 1908. Pop. (1990) 54,312; (2000) 60,552.