Richmond looking to snag new UC laboratory
By Chris Treadway
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 07/13/2011 06:21:46 PM PDT
Richmond has already gained a measure of regional prestige as one of the six finalists for a second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, but the project has the potential to bring the city so much more, City Councilman Jeff Ritterman said.
He sees the project as a catalyst for jobs, new business startups and educational opportunities, not to mention the potential technologies that could emerge from operation of a new site at the UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station on the south Richmond shoreline.
"It really represents the direction we want to go," he said. "It's an opportunity to demonstrate that this is a city on the move, that we want to attract green-tech and cleantech companies."
The city has mounted a vigorous campaign promoting its bid for the lab and, unlike other major development proposals of late, the project has across-the-board support, including the business community and the growing environmental movement in Richmond.
"How often do you find an issue where everybody can get under the same tent," Ritterman asked. "It's a winning project all the way around."
A winning bid will take more than simply having community support, he said, and officials are banking on a large public turnout for a town-hall meeting on the project set for 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Richmond Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza.
"The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has made clear that a welcoming community is a prerequisite," Ritterman said. "This is an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment."
The laboratory is holding similar meetings in the cities of each of the finalist sites and Richmond officials are going to lengths to make the local session stand out before the expected announcement of the selected site this winter.
You can think of the gathering as a combination informational meeting and pep rally, kicking off with entertainment provided by the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and including free refreshments from locally based Galaxy Desserts.
To get ready you might want to pick up one of the "Richmond (Heart) LBNL" buttons now available at City Hall and the Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau.
To RSVP for the town hall meeting, go to www.ci.richmond.ca.us/lbnl or call the city manager's office at 510-412-2091 or 510-621-1554 for more details.
Two finalists employ advertising campaigns to compete for second LBNL campus
By Anjuli Sastry | Staff
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 7:40 am
Updated Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm
Both Alameda and Richmond will do just about anything to be chosen as the location for the second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, including displaying billboards and lawn signs all over their cities to make for stronger advertising campaigns.
The lab will be building a second campus to complement its original campus up in the Berkeley Hills, and the cities are two of six finalists that are competing for the top spot, after a seven month search that began in January. Approximately 20 percent of the lab’s facilities are situated across Emeryville, Berkeley and Walnut Creek — the future 2 million-gross-square-foot campus will consolidate these facilities, which include the Joint Genome Institute, the Joint BioEnergy Institute and the Life Sciences Lab.
Other than Alameda Point in Alameda and Richmond Field Station in Richmond, the four other site finalists include Brooklyn Basin in the city of Oakland, Golden Gate Fields in the city of Albany, Emery Station in the city of Emeryville and the Aquatic Park in the city of Berkeley — all chosen in May, according to lab spokesman Jon Weiner.
Alameda is hoping that they will be given this opportunity to host the campus at the former naval base at Alameda Point, using about $20,000 from city funds, according to Jennifer Ott, deputy city manager.
“We believe we offer the right kind of balance in terms of existing amenities,” Ott said. “Within the community, our ad campaigns are being utilized, and staff and developers have talked to local citizens – there is a grassroots effort to gain momentum for the lab.”
On the other hand, Richmond has had a long term vision in mind for some time, what Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay believes is consistent with the lab’s overall scheme for the second campus.
“We have been trying to get the word out on why Richmond would be good community and we have a billboard space on Interstate 80,” Lindsay said. “It’s really been a long term process, starting with general plan and zoning to accomodate the use.”
As the competition heats up between the cities, the first of six public meetings will kick off tomorrow at the Auctions by the Bay Theater in Alameda. The lab will make its final decision for the site in late November.