UC Berkeley has decided to build its new research laboratory operations in Richmond, not Alameda, according to news reports on Monday.
“We’re disappointed, but it’s not a death blow,” said Alameda City Manager John Russo in a Bay Area News Group interview. “I truly think we would have been the best choice, but overall I think the process was fair. Kudos to Richmond.”
Thanks in part to its attempt to bring the labs to the Island, Alameda was able to obtain the former base from the Navy for free last year, saving the city about $108 million in conveyance costs, Russo said.
Richmond was chosen over Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville and Albany. Its winning pitch was based on its proximity to the lab’s main campus in the Berkeley hills, its abundance of adjacent open space that can be developed for future expansion and city officials’ eagerness to accommodate the lab plans, UC officials said in a news report.
In addition, the University of California, which oversees the lab, already owns the property in Richmond: the UC Richmond Field Station, where some labs and offices are already located.