East Bay Express: The Battle for Lawrence Berkeley Lab, March 2, 2011


It's not every day that a city has the opportunity to attract a project so large that it could represent a force of economic change for an entire community. But it's happening right now in the East Bay. At least five cities are supporting proposals this week to become the home of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's new second campus. The giant development will house numerous high-paying, green-tech jobs, and is expected to create scores of technology spin-offs that promise to boost economic activity and generate plenty of new revenue for the winning city.

As of late last week, the five cities expected to generate bids for the new campus by the Friday, March 4 deadline were Richmond, Berkeley, Emeryville, Alameda, and Walnut Creek. Richmond is considered the frontrunner because the University of California already owns at least ninety acres at its Richmond Field Station. The other cities, however, believe they still have a shot and argue that they have what it takes to become the winning bidder.