By Irene Dieter
The decision-makers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab are undoubtedly finalizing their selection of the location for the Lab’s second campus. They are expected to make their decision by the end of November.
Looking over the list of features that all the short-listed applicants offer, I noticed Alameda has some unique advantages.
√ Economic Sense –Setting up shop at Alameda Point would allow the University of California (the operator of the Lab) to save money (the land is free) while preserving the land it already owns in Richmond for other university programs.
√ Vigorous Planning for the Future — The Navy has announced it will transfer 918 acres to the City of Alameda at no cost to aid in economic development of the former Naval Air Station. The Department of Defense has awarded Alameda $225,000 to prepare an economic development strategy for Alameda Point. A detailed transportation strategy for Alameda Point has already been prepared. The Lab would break ground around the same time as the Veterans’ Clinic.
√ Opportunities for Synergistic Growth — The Lab would benefit from the additional small businesses and manufacturing facilities that come to Alameda Point as a result of specific development incentives the federal government is offering:
SBA Hub Zone - Alameda Point is a qualified Hub Zone, giving federal contracting preferences to small businesses that obtain HUB Zone certification.
LAMBRA - The Local Agency Military Base Recovery Area provides numerous tax incentives for companies that locate at Alameda Point
Foreign Trade Zone - Alameda Point is designated a Foreign Trade Zone, wherein no U.S. Customs duty or excise tax is levied on imported/exported merchandise.
√ Partnership Growth Potential — High quality research and development office space is already available at nearby Marina Village for companies that want to provide supplies or services to the Lab or develop and market products invented at the Lab.
√ Proximity to Airport — Closest location to the Oakland Airport where visiting scientists and scholars will often arrive.
√ The Bottom Line — Electricity costs are substantially lower and greener than in the surrounding areas. Alameda’s utility portfolio is typically over 80% clean and renewable, derived from geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, landfill gas, and solar facilities. Alameda is the lowest greenhouse-gas-emitting community in Alameda County and one of the lowest in California. An ideal fit for the Lab as it compliments the Lab’s goals of inventing the future of energy.
After checking the list twice, the decision to choose Alameda Point for the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s second campus should be an easy one for the Lab to make.