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UC Berkeley Selects SKS Investments as Richmond Field Station Developer in Competition for Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Proposed Second Campus Project

SKS’s Success in Developing and Master Planning Research Facilities in the Bay Area Were Key Attributes that Contributed to Selection

By Richmond City Staff

Officials from the City of Richmond announced that the San Francisco firm, SKS Investments, has been selected by the University of California, Berkeley as developer for the Richmond Field Station for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (LBNL) second campus selection process.

The Richmond Field Station, located on the shores of the San Francisco Bay, is owned by the University of California and is one of six sites under consideration by the Lab for its second campus.

The proposed LBNL’s second campus would combine their Energy and Life Sciences research cluster with the existing UC Berkeley Engineering research cluster on university-owned properties in Richmond’s southern waterfront area [].

The first phase of the second campus would include up to 500,000 square feet of research space for LBNL and through later phases grow up to two million square feet. The proposed complex is expected to accelerate innovation, technology transfer and commercialization in the region, while creating new jobs. LBNL’s selection committee will make final decisions in early winter.

“SKS is honored to have the opportunity to assist the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, one of the world’s most respected research organizations, with their future growth,” said Dan Kingsley, SKS managing partner. “LBNL is at the forefront of critical scientific research that will have a profoundly positive impact on our society and the quality of our lives. SKS is enthusiastic about the opportunity to produce the best and most cost-effective buildings for that research.”

The entire Richmond community is showing support for LBNL with its “Richmond On the Rise” campaign. There is widespread backing in the city for this second campus across a spectrum of the community, from labor to local businesses and global companies like Chevron. Richmond’s Pacific East Mall is one such supporter with an “I [heart] LBNL” on its marquee.

Catherine Koshland, UC Berkeley’s vice provost for teaching, learning, academic planning and facilities, said the campus is “pleased to be partnering with the city of Richmond to create a visionary development plan for the lab’s consideration this fall.”

“The location is close to UC Berkeley’s main campus and ample enough to allow for future growth and for a workforce that’s outgrown the lab’s main site and its off-site locations,” noted Koshland, who heads the campus steering committee for the development project. “We would like to extend the kind of vibrant partnership that already exists between the campus and the lab to the city of Richmond, acting as a catalyst for green and cleantech development.”

The main LBNL campus, the first of the University of California’s Department of Energy laboratories, will remain at its current site in the Berkeley hills above Strawberry Canyon. The new campus, currently in the planning and site selection phase, will bring onto one site several existing labs that are now scattered throughout the East Bay.

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin indicated support for SKS, “The City of Richmond prepared its own response to the RFQ and is therefore prepared to assist the developer in a collaborative fashion to make this process as streamlined as possible. As a founding member of the East Bay Green Corridor, we are pleased that an institute, known for its Nobel Laureates and energy efficiency research among other crowning achievements, has selected Richmond as a top finalist for their new campus. We look forward to the time when we can say, ‘Let the work begin’.”

Written by Globe Newspapers

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