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Decision on Point Molate Future Draws Near
May 31, 2003

On May 29, 2003, the City of Richmond released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) targeted at potential developers of the former Naval Fuel Depot at Point Molate. The  RFQ is available on the Internet at http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/~CED/redevelopment/CurrentRFPs.htm.

There will be a Project Information Meeting on June 11, 2003, 2:00 p.m., Harbor Masterís Building, 1340 Marina Way South, Richmond, California; a Site Tour on June 13, 2003, and the RFQ Submittals are due: July 9, 2003, 5:00 p.m.

It is anticipated that the Richmond City Council will make a decision within the next few weeks whether or not to request transfer of the property from the Navy to the City of Richmond. One purpose of the RFQ is to gauge the level of developer interest. If the City declines the transfer, the Navy plans to turn the property over to the General Services Administration to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. There has been some hesitancy by City staff in the past to recommend transfer because of uncertainty regarding potential liability for maintenance during the interim period between transfer and development and for contamination. It has been made clear, however, that the United States of America will take full responsibility for cleanup and contamination liability in perpetuity. In the initial transfer, 85% of the property, which is the portion that has been cleaned, will be conveyed. The Navy will continue remediation work on the remaining 15% over the next several years. Unfortunately, some of the most desirable portions for development are in the areas where remediation continues.

Point Molate is a stunning waterfront property that includes an intact "company town" called Winehaven, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, dating from the time it was the largest winery in the United States -- some say even the entire world.


There are approximately 290 acres of land at Point Molate above the mean higher high tide line, including 90 developable acres with slopes under 15 percent. Formerly a Naval facility, the Point Molate site is fully assembled, and will, if the City agrees, be transferred from the U.S. Navy to the City of Richmond sometime this year. The City will maintain control over development of the property.


Reuse planning for Point Molate has created a vision reflecting the Cityís commitment to achieving the siteís maximum potential. The preferred development alternative in the Point Molate Re-use Plan is a mixed-use village centered around the historic Winehaven and related winery buildings, with a retreat center, light industrial, and other complementary land uses. However, some of the proposed uses in this preferred alternative -- specifically residential uses -- may not be feasible given the potential risk of toxic upset at the industrial operators to the east. The EIS/EIR for the Point Reuse Plan has found that there is a potentially significant, unmitigatable impact upon residential development at Point Molate related to the risk of off-site chemical releases from industrial properties to the east of the Point Molate peninsula. Future development proposals for Point Molate will require project-specific CEQA review to analyze environmental issues.


The Request for Qualification (RFQ) is Phase One in a two-part process that will culminate with the selection of a development team for Point Molate. The purpose of this RFQ is to identify qualified master developers who will be invited to participate in Phase Two of the selection process. It is critical that respondents to the RFQ indicate a minimum proposed purchase price as a part of the RFQ submittal. During Phase Two, the City will issue a Request for Proposalís to the short list of qualified master developers selected through this RFQ. The RFP will require a detailed development and financing plan for Point Molate. Upon selection of the Master Developer, the City intends to execute a Master Development Agreement.


It is the intent of the City to transfer title to the selected developer upon the selection of the developer. As part of the RFQ process, please indicate the purchase price to be paid for the property in its ďAS ISĒ condition. The developer should not assume that any City or Redevelopment Agency funds are available to the project.; however, the City will cooperate regarding special financing mechanisms to support the project such as improvement districts, assessment districts, industrial revenue bonds, etc. It is the intent of the City to transfer the property to the developer. The Navy has been the lead in environmental clean-up. According to Navy documentation, approximately 85% of the site clean-up at Pt. Molate is complete. The developer will need to assess the environmental clean-up requirements necessitated by the developerís specific project proposal and determine if additional remediation is required. The developer may need to pursue negotiations with the Navy regarding incremental remediation and other topics related to development. Respondents to the RFQ/RFP may submit written requests for information regarding the Pt. Molate site which will be forwarded to the Navy for review and response. The developer will be responsible for securing all development entitlements, including CEQA processing for project development.