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Monday, January 23, 2012

Emeryville Loses Prestigious Lab To Richmond

Reprinted from the San Francisco Chronicle:

UC picks Richmond for lab biosciences campus
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, January 23, 2012
(01-23) 10:47 PST RICHMOND --

The University of California said today it has chosen a site in Richmond for a new biosciences campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The Richmond Field Station, which UC already owns, "presents the best opportunity to solve the lab's pressing space problems, while allowing for long-term growth and maintaining the 80-year tradition of close cooperation with the UC Berkeley campus," lab officials said.
The field station is located near Interstate 580 in the southeastern part of the city. Richmond beat out Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland to win the campus.
UC will now develop environmental impact studies and seek final approval from the U.S. Department of Energy, which contracts with UC to run the lab.
"Each city, community, and their developer partners presented extremely thoughtful and well-formulated proposals for us to consider," said lab director Paul Alivisatos.
The new lab and its spinoff businesses could transform the surrounding area in Richmond into a thriving scientific hub, with a proliferation of cafes, restaurants and other businesses catering to the hundreds of scientists and researchers expected to work there.
Richmond officials hailed the selection and planned to hold a news conference to discuss the next steps.
"I would like to thank the Richmond City Council for their enthusiastic support for this important economic development project, the many city of Richmond staff members who worked to provide technical support in the decision-making process, and the Richmond community for providing the warm welcome mat that was undoubtedly a major factor in their decision," said City Manager Bill Lindsay.
E-mail Henry K. Lee at

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  1. An easy commute for staff whether living in Mill Valley or Berkeley hills.

    Plenty of parking. Easy access to Costco and Ranch 99.

    Plenty of underutilized, cheap land.

    Negligible impact on Richmond tax base because they don't have one, LOL.

    We need to cultivate users that like our close freeway access to the City. Not Berkeley eggheads who still think we are a blighted, declasse little burg that can't have good coffee spots (despite Peets HQ) or good sandwiches (well Pixar 86'd Acme).

    While I didn't think Lawrence Berkeley was a good fit for E'ville due to its tax exempt status and resulting impact on our property tax base, I have to admit I feel a little miffed we were passed over for ... Richmond?

    1. Correction: Pixar deep sixed Semi Freddy's Bakery formerly on Hollis Street, not Acme.

  2. Too bad. This would have been a real asset. I'm not at all surprised. I predicted a Richmond win from the get go; it just made the most sense, but nonetheless it is unfortunate that we will miss out on this prestigious institution and it's educated work force which would have spent money here. I really don't know where Michael Webber gets off with his generalizations about the workers ("eggheads.") It's insulting and does a detriment to our community. I hope others reading don't think Michael Webber speaks for the community. He does not.

    1. Personally, I always considered the term "egghead" and related ones like "nerd" a compliment. The terms basically denote someone who is very intelligent or very expert in a field of study or area of technology. If you hate that, what does it say about your own intelligence? Anyway, we need more eggheads and nerds. Now and into the future, they make the world go round. Think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Eggheads par excellance.

  3. I think the eggheads that work for LB labs can take the "insult"....being able to handle this sort of challenge is well within the operational parameters of eggheads.