Contra Costa Times: Richmond looking to snag new UC laboratory, July 13, 2011


Richmond has already gained a measure of regional prestige as one of the six finalists for a second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, but the project has the potential to bring the city so much more, City Councilman Jeff Ritterman said.

He sees the project as a catalyst for jobs, new business startups and educational opportunities, not to mention the potential technologies that could emerge from operation of a new site at the UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station on the south Richmond shoreline.

"It really represents the direction we want to go," he said. "It's an opportunity to demonstrate that this is a city on the move, that we want to attract green-tech and cleantech companies."

The city has mounted a vigorous campaign promoting its bid for the lab and, unlike other major development proposals of late, the project has across-the-board support, including the business community and the growing environmental movement in Richmond.

"How often do you find an issue where everybody can get under the same tent," Ritterman asked. "It's a winning project all the way around."