LBNL unveils long term plan for new Richmond Bay Campus

LBNL Meeting

Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay addresses the audience at the LBNL Long Range Development Plan community workshop on Thursday night. (Photo: Jason Jaacks)

Representatives from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab unveiled long term plans for the Richmond Bay Campus, including ideas on how to involve surrounding neighborhoods, at a workshop at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium Thursday night.

The lab’s Long Range Development Plan will consolidate existing bioscience facilities associated with LBNL from around the East Bay. The research goals at the Richmond campus will include bioscience solutions for carbon-neutral fuels, reduced human environmental footprint, and improved human health. The presentation Thursday highlighted the anticipated economic impact for local businesses and educational programs.

“The opportunities are endless,” Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay said. “The LRDP is a catalyst.”

In the next several months the city will begin two studies, on land use and transportation, to explore complementary development as the new campus moves toward construction. Future development could include light industrial use, small businesses and big box retailers. The two studies will take approximately a year to complete, Lindsay said.

“We have the land in Richmond and we’re interested in working with property owners in creating a bridge between the city and the lab,” Lindsay said. Several LBNL spinoff companies, such as PowerLight, are already based in Richmond.

The Richmond Bay Campus will consist of research labs, offices, conference rooms, an auditorium, and outdoor spaces. Twenty-seven acres of existing open space will be restored and preserved. Unlike the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, the new campus will be open to the public, and will host several access points to the Bay Trail.

The first phase of the campus, scheduled for completion between 2017-2020, represents only a small portion of the development to take place on the property, which could eventually accommodate 5.4 million square feet of development.

The Long Range Development Plan has about a year before it’s ready to be submitted for approval to the UC Regents. The next community workshop is planned for November or December.

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