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Point Molate

Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot

For more information, contact the City of Richmond, (510) 620-6512

(visual tour) or (return to home page)



The Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot covers approximately 423 acres in the Protero Hills in the City of Richmond, California and is about 1.5 miles north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the northwest portion of the city of Richmond. The facility's topography ranges from sea level to steep slopes that rise as high as 500 feet above sea level. Point Molate is surrounded on the north, east and south by Chevron and San Pablo and San Francisco Bay’s to the west. Of the 290 terrestrial acres, approximately 90 acres are developable and generally below a 15 percent slope.

The "Village of Point Molate" was placed on the National Register of historic places in October 1978 (#78000658). Of the 65 standing buildings at Point Molate, at least 47 are within the 71 acre historic area. Of these, 35 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the 29 residential housing units.

Historical Significance

The massive crenellated parapet and cornet turrets which define the architecture of Winehaven are reminiscent of a Rhineland castle. The brick and steel three story structure reveals an architectural style and construction technique long removed from the urban landscape. The history of the Point Molate site includes:

  • Home of Indigenous Native Americans, the Ohlone. Although burial mounds once remained on the property, they have been destroyed by years of industrial activity.
  • Early 1800's, land used by the padres of Mission Delores and later became a Spanish Rancho.
  • 1871, Chinese fisherman develop shrimp camp which lasts for more than 40 years.
  • In 1906, the California Wine Association (CALWA) began construction of Winehaven and it opened the following summer and by 1909, the winery was in full operation. Once identified as the largest winery in the world, the glory of Winehaven came to an end with the advent of prohibition in 1919. In 1937, CALWA dissolved and began selling off its holdings.
  • In 1941, Point Molate was acquired by the U.S. Navy and began its life as a Naval Fuel Depot until September of 1995 when it was officially closed.


Closure and Disposal Process

The attached is a broad overview of the Navy Planning Process in the closure and disposal of Naval facilities.

City of Richmond Reuse Planning Process

  • In 1995, the Department of Defense submits proposed base closure list to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). Point Molate Naval Fuel Depot on this BRAC IV closure list.
  • Commission submits list to the President.
  • On July 14, 1995, President Clinton approves the list.
  • Point Molate ceased operations on September 30, 1995.
  • In September, 1995, the City of Richmond establishes the City Council as the Local Reuse Authority (LRA).
  • On October 16, 1995, the LRA establishes a 45-member Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee to help prepare a draft Reuse Plan.
  • In October of 1996, City contracts with consulting firm to assist in the development of a Reuse Plan.
  • After an 18 month process, Reuse Plan developed and presented to LRA in March of 1997. LRA approves plan and Plan sent to Department of Defense for review.


Current Activities

  • Negotiations on Cooperative Agreement with the Navy for Caretaker Maintenance of Point Molate.
  • Citizen staffed Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meets Monthly to Monitor and Advise Navy on Cleanup/Remediation Process.
  • Negotiating Master Lease Agreement with the Navy to allow Interim Leasing.
  • Navy preparing joint Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Document.


Future Activities

  • General Plan and Zoning Changes will be Necessary for Long-Term Reuse of Point Molate Property.
  • Future Project Proposals will be Analyzed for Consistency with Final approved reuse Plan and Certified Program EIR/EIS. Subsequent Negative Declaration and Supplemental EIR’s will be Prepared for Specific Project Proposals as Necessary.
  • Continue to Market Point Molate for Interim Lease Consistent with Long Term Use, e.g. Winery.
  • Seek Master Developer through Request for Proposals or Request for Qualifications Process.
  • Expand Enterprise Zone Area to include Point Molate.
  • Consider Establishing Redevelopment Project Area.


For more information, contact the City of Richmond, (510) 620-6512


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