So, it’s final, Alameda is definitely not getting ClifBar. At least for the next 15 years it won’t. And where did ClifBar choose to locate more than 100K sq ft of business that we would like to see in Alameda?
Right at the corner of an intersection that includes retail, residential, and this large commercial/industrial space. Of course, they could have moved out to Pleasanton or Livermore or some other suburban area where the land is cheap and plentiful, but they chose to relocate to someplace urban. Just not Alameda.
From the San Francisco Business Times:
…EmeryTech is a 225,000 square foot building that was originally a valve manufacturing plant. It has “distinctive Bauhaus architectural details that hearken back to the city’s industrial past.” Ellis Partners re-purposed the facility for mixed-use by adding atriums and soaring glass-filled ceilings to allow for energy-efficient natural light, as well as a fully redundant data center.
“Our business is built on five aspirations of sustainability—sustaining our people, business, brands, community and the planet,” said Clif Bar & Company founder and co-owner Gary Erickson. “Our new space is an exciting opportunity to extend all five of those visions.”
Improvements to the space will include a wellness center with state of the art fitness facilities, bike garage, hair salon, kitchen, full-time day-care facility, and theater for employee meetings and community events.
“Clif Bar has a global reputation for its responsible policies toward both its employees and the environment,” added Ellis. “We’ve collaborated closely with their team to ensure that this space not only fulfills their every need, but that it speaks to the values that make Clif Bar a leader in sustainable practices.”
So what is it about Alameda’s exisiting commercial space that simply does not appeal to the type of companies that I think we can all agree are desirable, like the ClifBars of the world. Is it the lack of a “there” there? Is it a lack of sufficient incentives for businesses? What is obvious though is that however we move forward with Alameda Point, at least for the commercial/business space, modelling it after Harbor Bay Business Park or Marina Square probably won’t attract us the ClifBars of the future.
While we were able to lure Semifreddi away from Emeryville, the ClifBar coup may not be a big deal for Emeryville, but the loss is subtantial to Alameda.