Alameda Aims to Attract Berkeley Labs to NAS

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is looking for more space. And it’s got a sizeable budget and stimulas money to use for real-estate shopping.

To attract LBNL to the Island, the City of Alameda sent a letter on August 25 thanking LBNL staff for visiting Alameda Point and sharing details with the group about several airplane hangers in the former NAS, energy supply to the area and certain geotechnical details.

Now, the city just has to sit tight and hope that it gets asked to submit a formal proposal for LBNL’s second campus. City staff members expect other nearby cities, such as Emeryville and Richmond, to be potential rivals.

City Councilman Doug deHaan, who described the city’s efforts to attact Berkeley Labs to Alameda Point on August 26 at a community meeting on the former NAS, said he “feels confident that we have the attributes they are looking for,” including 1.2 million square feet of lab space.

The laboratory, which includes 6 facilities, is apparently planning to consolidate some of its operations. Currently, it has facilities in Berkeley, Emeryville and Walnut Creek.

The Department of Energy operations employ 3,915 staff members in the area, about one-third of whom are scientists. Its fiscal 2010 budget is estimated at $774 million, including $122 million in stimulas funding from the federal government.

According to LBNL, the facilities overall impact on the Bay Area is valued at about $500 million a year in direct economic spending and $690 million in indirect economic spending.