Golden Gate Fields has been passed over for selection as the preferred site for a second campus of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Bay Area.
The University of California announced in a press release Jan. 23 that it has selected the UC-owned Richmond Field Station as its preferred site for the proposed consolidation of its bio-sciences programs of the Berkeley Lab. The University said the location “presents the best opportunity to solve the Lab’s pressing space problems while allowing for long term growth and maintaining the 80-year tradition of close cooperation with the UC Berkeley Campus.”
The University will now move ahead with developing environmental impact studies and with the process of seeking final approval from the U.S. Department of Energy for the project, according to the statement.
Golden Gate Fields, which sits on 140 acres of bay-front property in the cities of Albany and Berkeley, was one of six finalists for the new campus from an original list of 20 applicants. Had it been selected, the racetrack, owned by The Stronach Group, would have been sold and eventually torn down. Racing in Northern California would have been moved to a new venue.
“Each city, community, and their developer partners presented extremely thoughtful and well-formulated proposals for us to consider, for which we are deeply grateful,” said Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos in the university’s statement. “The communities of Albany, Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and Richmond have been true partners in this process.
"While we can only pick one site, we hope that the new relationships we’ve made will continue to help us foster excitement in science. The enthusiasm is wonderful affirmation of the desire of the entire East Bay to be part of developing scientific solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our society.”
The UC decision was hailed as "great news" by the California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
"The CTHA looks forward to strengthening Northern California racing and welcomes this news that can pave the way for long-term strategic planning for the preservation and improvement of Thoroughbred racing in Northern California," it said in a statement.