A Vision for Marina Bay . . . . How Chevron can help support a long‐term, sustainable future in
Richmond, CA, while improving both the image of the company and the City
Marina Bay with west shore develpoment area highlighted (orange) and LBNL proposed second campus
A solution for a problem
In the wake of the fire on August 6, 2012 at the Chevron Richmond Refinery, the company has stated
publicly that they want to “do right” by Richmond, and make a “bold gesture” that reflects their
continued appreciation for and investment in the City of Richmond. By all indications the company
wants to do something that
has both a lasting, long‐term, significant positive impact on the community as a whole, and has the
consensus support from the community and elected officials. The recent events have left image of the
company and that of the city seriously damaged, this after both had been on the upswing in recent
years. The question at hand is: Is there something that could be done that would clearly be read as a
grand gesture by the company to show its appreciation for Richmond, while serving to improve the
images of both the company and the City?
There may be a project that could do just that, and it’s not simply a pipe dream. It nearly happened,
without any disaster, or prompting by elected officials.
What we envision is the investment by Chevron into the creation of a major corporate technology
campus on the west shore of Marina Bay, an area where they already lease the entire second floor of
one building, and at one time had plans to purchase all the buildings and relocate hundreds of
employees. This plan was abandoned when the effort to upgrade the refinery was halted by a CEQA
lawsuit brought by environmental organizations, but the foundation was there, and the key elements
are in place to support such an effort. This is an opportune time, in the wake of the recent fire, for the
City’s oldest and largest company to be persuaded to make a meaningful investment of both capital and
“human energy” into the city which hosts its largest refinery, and has been a partner for over 100 years.
Such an undertaking would be of tremendous mutual benefit for both the City and Chevron, as well as
residents, local businesses, schools, and the greater region as a whole. We earnestly hope that you
agree, and work to make this vision a reality.
Chevron is already familiar with the location:
Chevron already has hundreds of employees located in existing class A office space on the second floor
of 1450 Marina Way South, and had plans at one time to purchase the entire office park and relocate
many more employees there. It’s a beautiful setting for such a use, and could spur a growth of
development and investment in the area.
1450 Marina Way South – top floor leased by Chevron
Lucretia Edwards Park ‐ adjacent to Chevron’s current leased offices at 1450 Marina Way South
There’s plenty of room for expansion:
There are currently four commercial office buildings on the site, three of which Chevron currently leases
already, although two are vacant. There are also two large commercial office buildings that are fully
entitled and ready to be built, with minor design upgrades. These could be LEED gold or Platinum
buildings that could set the bar for new commercial development in the City of Richmond.
Ensuring viability and sustainability for the new ferry service:
The Water transit authority has ramped up their efforts to bring the new ferry service to Richmond
Marin Bay, and the terminal should be open with service starting as soon as next year. This will enhance
the value and use of the area, and in return, a high end corporate campus at that location would ensure
a consistent ridership, and support the long term viability of ferry service, something that never
happened the last time they tried ferry service to Richmond.
Synergy with LBNL Richmond Campus:
Chevron is in the business of energy, and there is no better potential partnership that that of a major
global energy corporation and the lab next door where the best and brightest minds will be working to
solve our energy problems, and advance the technology that will be implemented to reduce our nation’s
dependence on fossil fuels, and that companies like Chevron will implement to save our environment
and stabilize our national security risk. This is a HUGE opportunity, and having a major corporate
campus of a global energy giant in the East Bay next to LBNL’s second campus at the field station would
present a natural synergistic opportunity for collaboration. For any company serious about looking out
to the next horizon, and developing fuel sources that are safer, cleaner, and more secure for the well‐
being of our city, country, and planet, working with LBNL should be a no‐brainer, and having an office
campus in close proximity to LBNL’s Richmond campus would fit hand in hand with this concept.
Rendering of the proposed LBNL second campus at Marina Bay, Richmond
Mitigating the negative impact of man‐made disasters on the market:
While difficult to measure the impact that the recent fire and its coverage in the media have had on the
commercial real estate market in the City, clearly it is profoundly negative, and cannot have come at a
worse time for the City of Richmond. The commercial real estate market in Richmond was already at an
all‐time low before the fire, and by many professional accounts, the recent disaster and the constant
coverage of it in the media will ensure that the market stays down for what is likely to be a very long
time. A move by Chevron to lease or acquire a significant amount of vacant real‐estate in the down‐
trodden Marina Bay market would positively impact this situation in both a direct and indirect manner,
improving the value of the market as a whole, and likely being a catalyst for investment and
development in the area.
Fulfilling a need, compounding an opportunity:
Repairing the damaged crude unit from the recent fire will be a huge job that will likely entail the work
of hundreds of people: engineers, scientists, technicians, project managers, etc. In addition, assuming
Chevron decided to move forward with the planned upgrades to the refinery, this will entail the co‐
location of even more teams of people, working in unison on the mammoth project. The company will
need a lot of space to house these people and support these efforts. Locating these people at Marina
Bay, where they already have office space, and there is a lot more readily available, and a landlord
willing to make it available would make a great deal of sense, and would allow Chevron to occupy and
use the site immediately while they put in place long term plans for development of the peninsula.
The elements are already in place:
Chevron has already successfully participated in similar successful partnerships. For example in San
Ramon, they are a key player in “Innovation Tri‐Valley” “a business‐led initiative to align the vision of
the private sectors, our national labs, the community, and civic leaders.”
Chevron has also demonstrated its concern, willingness, and interest in the advancement of emerging
clean technologies with its Chevron Tech Ventures and Chevron Energy Solutions, making the company
one of the largest players in solar energy development and implementation, and one of the top
investors in emerging energy technology companies. Just imagine the possibilities if those efforts and
investment were occurring here in Richmond, and the embryonic companies that spun off were able to
be incubated and developed right here in Richmond! It’s very possible if the will is there.
Long and lasting positive effect on the City of Richmond:
Of all the things that Chevron could do to make a “bold statement” toward the City of Richmond (with
the caveat of modernizing the refinery to increase its productivity and decrease it’s pollution output),
few things would have a longer‐lasting or more positive effect on the community as a whole, than the
investment into a major corporate technology campus at Marina Bay. It would create thousands of jobs,
both construction and long‐term, would breathe new life and vitality into an area that has been vacant
and stagnant for a long time, would mean more money for schools, roads, and libraries, and would bring
high‐paying jobs to Richmond, and with them families, many of whom who would move to Richmond
and spend money, invest in schools, and pay taxes.
Chevron’s NorthPark Office Building in Covington, Luisiana First LEED Gold certified office builsing in LA
Demonstrating a long‐term commitment to Richmond:
There would be no greater investment than Chevron putting resources into the creation of a major
facility on the Richmond shoreline, into which the company brings their best and brightest minds to
work hand in hand with LBNL and other local greentech companies to advance the state of the art
technology that will move us all toward a cleaner, greener future, and spur a new era of progress,
development, and respect in the City of Richmond.
This is our vision. . .
If the majority of elected officials and the greater community share the promise of this vision, and can
come to a consensus supporting this as the “grand gesture” that chevron can do for Richmond, perhaps
we can make them see the benefit, and act to make it a reality. This could be a win/win for the City of
Richmond and Chevron, and would go a long way toward improving the image of each, and showing a
mutual willingness to turn negative into positive and commit to a long term partnership.