Richmond Council to Consider Pt. Molate Offers: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday November 09, 2004

Battling bids for Point Molate, a choice piece of city-owned waterfront property sought by two rival suitors, will once again confront the Richmond City Council Tuesday. 

The two offers were to be discussed during a 9 a.m. executive session, then again when the council holds its public meeting starting at 7 p.m. 

The item is carried on the council agenda as “Consider approving one of the two following proposals for Point Molate,” and the council could either adopt one of the proposals or continue the discussion to yet another meeting.  

ChevronTexaco, Richmond’s largest industry and principal employer, wants the site as a security buffer, and would restrict uses to industrial and associated commercial uses. 

Berkeley developer James D. Levine has teamed his Upstream Point Molate corporation with the world’s largest gambling firm and a Native American tribe to offer the city a super resort with hotels, high-end shopping and a massive casino.  

Levine’s consortium has offered a $20 million down payment, with an additional $2 million a year for the following 15 years. 

In addition, the Guidiville Rancheria band of Pomo tribespeople, who would own the site as a reservation, has agreed to compensate the city for required city services at the rate of an additional $8 million a year for the first eight years after gambling operations commence and $10 million annually thereafter. 

Other promised payments could bring the proceeds even higher—though approval for a casino is anything but certain. 

Chevron offers a $50 million payment as early as Dec. 23, another $5 million within ten days of signing to fund new jobs in the city, plus a special tax assessment of $1 million per year for 25 years as payments in lieu of property taxes, “though I expect there will also be some type of regular property taxes, too,” said a corporate spokesperson. 

The refinery also agrees to take the land on an “as is” basis. 

The offer also gives the city long-term use of a valuable 25-acre tract commercial/industry tract near the Richmond marina. 

Both developers promise parks and Bay Trail easements.