By Erica Madison
“We want everyone on their best behavior,” laughed Planning Services Manager Andrew Thomas, at Monday’s Planning Board meeting.
At the meeting, the Planning Services Manager invited Alameda residents to a barbecue on July 13th to help the city gain support in bringing jobs and more retail revenue to Alameda.
Who’s the lucky company? Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The agency is looking to create a second campus in order to consolidate some of the existing labs located around the East Bay.
“This is a major campus that will create major economic stimulus,” said Planning Services Manager Andrew Thomas.
If LBNL builds their second campus at Alameda Point, Thomas predicts the campus will become a major source for retail sales on Webster Street and in West Alameda.
Another benefit of having the campus, it will create new jobs which will replace some of the ones lost from the navy leaving Alameda Point.
It’s a two phase project. For the first phase sixteen acres will be built and eventually the campus will span forty-five acres.
Alameda has already created buildout plans for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab as part of their proposal to attract the agency. A development team has already been selected, called Alameda Point Lab Partners. This team is comprised of four companies, which include Mission Bay Development Group, Edgemoor Real Estate Services, Clark Construction and HDR.
“The team,” says Thomas “is already using their own funds to try and attract LBNL to build their second campus at Alameda Point.”
But Alameda isn’t the only city. There were several cities vying to become home to this revenue generating campus, but LBNL has finally narrowed it down to six cities.
One benefit Alameda has over the competition is that they are offering Lawrence Berkeley National Lab public land. The five other competing cities and their potential sites are:
• Berkeley Aquatic Park West
• Brooklyn Basin, Oakland
• Emeryville/Berkeley, including property currently occupied by the Lab
• Golden Gate Fields in Albany
• Richmond Field Station
The LBNL is considering land that is privately owned in these five other cities, making Alameda the only city offering free land.
To help make their decision, the LBNL has asked each city to fill out a request for qualifications packet. In this packet the LBNL’s biggest concern is the level of community acceptance.
“The LBNL wants to make sure they are moving into a city that wants them”, said Thomas.
To make sure this happens the LBNL has required each participating city to hold a community meeting to gauge public interest.
On July 13th at the Alameda Point Theatre, the Planning Board will hold a community meeting at 7:00pm with a barbecue on the lawn preceding the meeting at 6:00pm.
“Bring chairs and blankets”, said Planning Services Manager Andrew Thomas.
The Planning Board is also asking residents to fill out a postcard survey which asks residents if they support Lawrence Berkeley National Lab coming to Alameda Point. These postcards will be available at the permit office at City Hall.
Residents can also show their support by picking up window or lawn signs made by the Planning Board, which will indicate their support of the LBNL’s second campus at Alameda Point.
Information about where to get the signs or more information about the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s second campus can be found at www.lab2alameda.org
Planning Services Manager Andrew Thomas, is also encouraging residents to call his office at: 510-747-6881 for questions.