E’ville Biz: Holliday building Prefab homes, Pixar Teases Next Movie, DOE Renews Funding for JBEI

Published On July 20, 2017 | By Rob Arias | Local Business, News & Commentary

In this month’s slate of E’ville-centric stories aggregated from around the interwebz, we spotlight a familiar developer, an innovative research center and probably our most famous tenant.

Rick Holliday, best known as the developer behind the Emeryville Warehouse Lofts, Blue Star Corner and The Intersection Project (the one that was the victim of arson…twice!), has another venture in the queue. Everyone is scratching their heads trying to make a dent in our ongoing Housing Crisis either through policies that discourage displacement or encourage density. Holliday is looking to streamline the development process through modular housing that he claims can be built 40% faster, 20% cheaper and provide hundreds of middle class jobs.

Pixar is scheduled to release its next feature film ‘Coco’ later this year, but is already teasing its next original storyline at the annual D23 Disney expo. Monsters University Director Dan Scanlon described the untitled project as a film that “takes you to a suburban fantasy world”. This project is said to be in the pipeline behind the sequels for The Incredibles and Toy Story and would not be released until 2020/2021.

The Department of Energy recently announced that the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) located at EmeryStation East was selected as one of four research centers to receive $40 million in government funding. JBEI was founded a decade ago to accelerate innovative research in next-generation biofuels, and to make such technology more cost-effective.


Rick Holliday provides a tour of his new facility on Mare Island (Photo: Rachel Raskin-Zrihen)

Google is first to order pre-fab homes from Mare Island startup

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Rick Holliday’s Factory_OS facility on Mare Island, having recently closed a deal on the historic Building 680 — the Nimitz Avenue “industrial cathedral” vacated by Blu Homes — makes pre-fabricated dwellings, like they do, but that’s pretty much where the similarity ends, he said.

“Blu Homes specializes in single family homes, and we focus on multi-family homes, done in pieces and assembled on site,” Holliday’s business partner Kevin Brown said. “This allows for better quality control, because our assembly-line process eliminates having various contractors crawling over each other. It’s faster and more efficient — creating at least a 40 percent construction time savings.”

Read More on East Bay Times →


Monsters University Director Dan Scanlon talks at a Press event (Photo: Jessica Brandi Lifland).

D23: Pixar Announces Untitled Quest Movie Set in ‘Suburban Fantasy World’

By Dan Scanlon

Disney is making additions to the House of Mouse to include yet another new movie from Pixar. The currently untitled film was just one of many announcements at the D23 Expo on Friday.

Pixar CCO John Lasseter introduced the pic, telling the crowd, “We love taking audiences to new worlds they’ve never seen before.” A screen saying “The untitled Pixar film that takes you to a suburban fantasy world” promptly appeared behind him.

Dan Scanlon has been attached as director, and he took the stage to present the project following Lasseter’s introduction. “This movie is a mixture of the fantastic and everyday,” noted Scanlon.

Read More on Variety.com →


The state-of-the-art JBEI laboratory is located on Hollis (Photo: Roy Kaltschmidt).

DOE Renews Funding for Joint BioEnergy Institute at Berkeley Lab

By Sarah Yang

The Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), was selected as one of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) to receive funding in support of innovative research on biofuels and bioproducts. DOE is awarding the four centers a total of $40 million.

The BRC awards, announced today by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, mark the next research phase at JBEI, established in 2007 by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within DOE’s Office of Science. JBEI and the new centers will expand their focus on breakthrough science in carbon-neutral biofuels to include more research.

Read More on lbl.gov →


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About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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