Richmond puts on charm offensive to woo Berkeley Lab
By Hannah Dreier
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 07/22/2011 01:26:32 PM PDT
Updated: 07/22/2011 05:31:07 PM PDT
Tom Butt hands out “We LNBL” buttons at Town Hall Meeting
About 700 residents packed into the Richmond Auditorium to help convince lab representatives that this city is in the midst of a turnaround, and urge them to build their planned second campus here.
The new campus, which is expected to accommodate more than 800 workers and generate more than $200 million in spending impacts, is the first project in recent memory to unite all corners of the city in support.
Richmond leaders took advantage of its town hall meeting, a requirement for each of the six finalists, to tout the city's successes in luring green industry and restoring local landmarks such as the Richmond Plunge.
"We really are a city in transformation," Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said, "and we think that's why we're such a great fit."
Residents, many wearing brightly colored T-shirts announcing their union, corporate or nonprofit affiliations, cheered their way through an hour of presentations from lab and city representatives.
Some residents, such as Eleanor Thompson, have lived in the city for decades, and are weary of seeing children and grandchildren off to field trips at the Berkeley Lab.
"I want them to have something to be proud of right here," Thompson said.
Cathy Koshland, vice provost of facilities at UC Berkeley, also spoke in support of the Richmond site.
Earlier this month, the university selected SKS Investments, a San Francisco firm, as the developer for the Richmond Field Station, which the University of California already owns.
The city hosted a kind of pep rally ahead the meeting with local performers, free food and a greeting line of young "police explorers" in uniform.
It all seemed to make the desired impression. Lab Director Paul Alivisatos began his presentation on the Berkeley Lab's accomplishments by telling the crowd he was "awestruck" and "humbled."
The city has also rolled out banners, buttons and even a billboard off Interstate 80 as part of its charm offensive.
Lab representatives expect to make a choice by November and begin construction in 2014.
Contact Hannah Dreier at 510-262-2787. Follow her at Twitter.com/hannahdreier.
Each of the six finalists are holding receptions. Alameda hosted its event
Schedule of upcoming town halls:
Brooklyn Basin: 7-
9 p.m. July 27, Jack London Aquatic Center, 115 Embarcadero, Oakland.
Golden Gate Fields: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Aug. 3, Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., Albany.
Aquatic Park West: 7-9 p.m. Aug. 4, Frances Albrier Community Center, 2800 Park St., Berkeley.
Emeryville/Emery Station/Berkeley: 7-9 p.m. Aug. 8, Emeryville City Hall, 1333 Park Ave., Emeryville.
Chris Treadway: Richmond puts on a showcase to remember
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 07/22/2011 11:34:28 PM PDT
Updated: 07/23/2011 01:34:09 PM PDT
Does Richmond really have a chance to attract a world class scientific research facility to its southern shoreline?
The cheering throng that attended the town hall meeting Thursday on the city's proposal for a second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory was already convinced before the presentation started.
The actual presentation only reinforced that opinion as city as development officials extolled the advantages of the Richmond Field Station site and City Manager Bill Lindsay threw in an image of the World War II "We Can Do It" poster (http://bit.ly/pOK5gA).
The meeting was as much a showcase of the city for the community itself as it was for university officials. It served notice that outsiders and residents alike should see the city in a new light.
The city pulled out all the stops for the event, with live entertainment and free food, swag and information from commercial and community tables and banners around the Richmond Memorial Auditorium proclaiming the city's open welcome to the LBNL project.
During the social hour local outfits SaWadDee Thai Restaurant, Pepito's Deli, Galaxy Desserts and Catahoula Coffee kept attendees fed, banners promoted upcoming events such as a Point Richmond picnic, National Park rangers in uniform mingled with the crowd.
Richmond's bid is just one of six sites under consideration and whatever the outcome, the city showed it could unite as a community and can easily stand with its East Bay counterparts in attracting high stakes development.
UPCOMING LAB MEETINGS: With the town hall sessions for the Richmond and Alameda LBNL bids already held, here is the schedule for the remaining finalist sites:
· Brooklyn Basin, Wednesday, 7-9 p.m., Jack London Aquatic Center, 115 Embarcadero, Oakland.
· Golden Gate Fields, Aug. 3, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Avenue, Albany.
· Aquatic Park West, Aug. 4, 7-9 p.m., Frances Albrier Community Center, 2800 Park St., Berkeley.
· Emeryville/Emery Station/Berkeley, Aug. 8, 7-9 p.m., Emeryville City Hall, 1333 Park Ave., Emeryville.
Final proposals will be received in September, with a finalist expected to be named in November. Environmental review is expected to take two years, with the facility opening in early 2016.
Richmond puts best foot forward to wow lab
Christopher Connelly - Richmond Confidential
It's rare that a project can seemingly unite every sector across a city, but Richmond's bid for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory expansion brought out 700 people from all corners of the city to show support Thursday for the campus, as the city put its best foot forward to showcase what it has to offer the lab.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a massive research institute that focuses on advanced scientific research in a variety of fields, has outgrown its Berkeley campus and is in the market for a location for a second campus that would consolidate their existing research projects around the Bay Area and give the organization space to grow. The new lab is expected to generate over $200 million in economic activity, including numerous jobs involved in building the site as well as new restaurants, cafes and other businesses that will be patronized by the expected 800 workers. Richmond's bid would site the campus at UC Berkeley's Richmond Field Station between the Richmond Annex and Marina Bay neighborhoods.
At the packed town-hall meeting, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and a host of public speakers that included members of the business community, public safety officers, elected officials, non-profit leaders and a host of citizens extolled Richmond's virtues. They promoted the city's expansive coastline and other natural amenities, Richmond's budding green-technology sector, its proximity to the lab's existing campus, and told lab officials that the city has a well-run and helpful local government and a growing reputation as a city that welcomes new businesses.
Read the rest of the story and see a photo slideshow at Richmond Confidential.
Posted By: Richmond Confidential (Email) | July 23 2011 at 12:42 PM
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/incontracosta/detail?entry_id=93804#ixzz1T2RF2aow
Richmond puts best foot forward to wow lab
By: Christopher Connelly | July 23, 2011 – 11:58 am | Filed Under: Development, Economy, Education, Events, Featured, Front, Government
It’s rare that a project can seemingly unite every sector across a city, but Richmond’s bid for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory expansion brought out 700 people from all corners of the city to show support Thursday for the campus, as the city put its best foot forward to showcase what it has to offer the lab.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a massive research institute that focuses on advanced scientific research in a variety of fields, has outgrown its Berkeley campus and is in the market for a location for a second campus that would consolidate their existing research projects around the Bay Area and give the organization space to grow. The new lab is expected to generate over $200 million in economic activity, including numerous jobs involved in building the site as well as new restaurants, cafes and other businesses that will be patronized by the expected 800 workers. Richmond’s bid would site the campus at UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station between the Richmond Annex and Marina Bay neighborhoods.
At the packed town-hall meeting, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and a host of public speakers that included members of the business community, public safety officers, elected officials, non-profit leaders and a host of citizens extolled Richmond’s virtues. They promoted the city’s expansive coastline and other natural amenities, Richmond’s budding green-technology sector, its proximity to the lab’s existing campus, and told lab officials that the city has a well-run and helpful local government and a growing reputation as a city that welcomes new businesses.
“Richmond is in the middle of a renaissance, and I’d like to invite you to join us,” City Manager Bill Lindsay told lab director Paul Alivisatos and Chief Operating Officer Jim Krupnick. In cataloguing what the city has to offer the LBNL workers, he mentioned that the city made a point in its recent general plan to zone the area around the Richmond Field Station to ease the process of development.
UC Berkeley is partnering with Richmond in the bid and the city and the university are promoting this as another selling point. “Only one of the competing sites has UC Berkeley as a partner,” UC Berkeley Vice Provost Catherine Koshland said in her presentation Thursday.
UC Berkeley selected San Francisco-based SKS Investments as the developer for the site. Dan Kingsley, SKS managing partner, said the site has ample land for the lab’s 2 million square foot campus that is ready for development. He stressed that the designs for the second campus site at the Richmond Field Station would go “above and beyond existing LEED certification,” the national standard for green building design, and feature natural open space throughout the campus including a green promenade and views of the bay.
LBNL Director Paul Alivisatos presented the lab’s achievements and research focus to the crowd, pointing out that 55 Nobel Prizes and 13 National Medal of Science winners had connections with the lab. He said most of the work at the lab’s second campus will focus on biosciences, but in the long term the lab wants to have the space to build ot facilities to meet as yet unknown needs. “At any given time we have a group of people trying to think what will the facilities be five, ten, fifteen years from now that scientists will need to have access to the tools that are most needed for their research,” Alavisatos said.
Alavisatos said he was impressed by the display of all that Richmond had to offer. The city’s reception included a West African drum and dance performance from the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, treats from Galaxy Desserts, and about forty informational booths representing groups from all sectors of Richmond society showing support for the lab. The city has also started an “Richmond Loves LBNL” button campaign; the blue and yellow buttons could be seen on most of the crowd. Banners hung from light poles around the city welcomed the lab, and the city has also spring for a billboard to show love for the lab.
Councilmember Jeff Ritterman, the city council’s key person on the lab bid, called the night a success, and said it was just the beginning of a campaign to build buzz in the city for the project and envision a future that includes LBNL. “We need to be positioning ourselves so that if we get it, how are we going to benefit the most, how are we going to interface that with our education system, how are the kids here going to be educated so they get those jobs,” he said.
Five other cities are competing to host the LBNL expansion, including sites in Alameda, Berkeley, Albany, Oakland and Emeryville. The lab will announce the winner of the contract in November.