Building strong relationships with the greater community
The Point Molate project sees itself as a community within a community. While physically separate from Richmond neighborhoods, the Project has a key role to play in the economic and social regeneration of Richmond that will occur through economic development, job training and educational support, financial contributions to the City used for programs and public investment in other areas of the City, and collaboration on environmental and community enhancement projects. As a community, Point Molate will also benefit from an increasingly thriving Richmond. For this reason, the Project has reached out beyond its formal relationship with the City to establish partnerships with diverse groups and organizations, locally and regionally.
The Project has made a significant and binding commitment to hiring local residents; the 2004 agreement between the City, Upstream and Guidiville requires 40 percent of initial operational hires from Richmond. While many projects make promises, we understand that significant upfront work will be required to prepare more than 1,000 Richmond residents for the jobs and careers that are coming. In that vein, the project team has initiated planning sessions with job training non-profits, local unions, churches, West Contra Costa School District, and city workforce professionals, so a clear program strategy will be in-place to achieve, and even exceed, the local hiring goals.
Local and Green Business
Building and maintaining this Project will require a wide range of contractors, materials, technologies, skills, and services. The Upstream/Guidiville team intends, as much as possible, to source these materials and services locally as part of its overall commitment to strengthening the economy of Richmond and the East Bay. During construction, the Project will follow some established models to assist qualified local contractors with bonding and insurance support, so they can participate meaningfully in project construction. During site operations, regular community and vendor meetings will give information and lead-time to interested local businesses who can then prepare for upcoming opportunities. The Project will also provide support to vendors so they can fully embrace the sustainability themes of the Project in everyday business practices. That support will include direct technical assistance and possible financial support to local services that may provide similar programs.
Winehaven was, in its day, the largest winery in the US and a popular tourist destination until it was closed down by Prohibition. In the intervening decades, the buildings have fallen into disrepair and are at risk of being lost forever if no one intervenes. Intervention requires more than $20 million in investment dollars along with a building reuse program to generate the interest and revenues to provide for future maintenance.
With the assistance and guidance of numerous experts, and federal, state, and local agency historic preservation personnel (including the City’s Historic Preservation Commission), the Project proposes to preserve, rehabilitate, and restore the Winehaven Historic District. Through this Project, the Historic District will be put back in service in a way that is consistent with its origins, and housing a vibrant entertainment destination, will share that history with thousands of people every day.
The Point Molate team is in conversations with several environmental and ecological restoration groups about possibilities for enhancing and restoring the relatively small existing area of coastal prairie on the Site. The ecological restoration effort will allow the Project and the Guidiville Tribe to learn about and integrate traditional Native American knowledge and practice with the expertise of modern restorationists. Many hands-on opportunities will be available for students, researchers, and volunteers to participate and learn about restoration work. Community volunteers will participate fully in the planning of the restoration effort.
Upstream/Guidiville has initiated discussions regarding a number of possible collaborations with the local school district and schools, including edible schoolyard initiatives, ecological school programs, scholarship programs, support and training for teachers, and direct financial support for schools. Collaboration with the school district will help fulfill a promise to fundamentally change the future for Richmond’s children, and will also be a component of the long-term workforce development program.
The project team has more than 25 years of history supporting youth programs around the Bay Area, and understands the importance of engaging youth in responsible, interesting and mentored programs. Since there will be upwards of 180 acres of on-site parks, the project team has begun discussions with community and City leaders to explore the possibility of a Youth Conservation Corps that could be supported by the future on-site open space restoration and maintenance programs. Conservation Corps programs offer young people meaningful work and an environment of education and fellowship. A Youth Conservation Corps could be linked to the City’s existing youth and tree planting programs, and support ecological restoration efforts on the Site and throughout the community. A possible Conservation Corps program can be linked as a feeder program to union apprenticeship and operational career programs.