28 April 2005

New Site Photo Overviews

Just completed - three new site photo overviews. The finished overviews are:

  1. OUSD (Oakland Unified School District) - This site was mentioned in Peggy Stinnett's column in the Oakland Tribune. She offers her take on a visit by Naoko Ezawa, who helped design Pac Bell (SBC) Park and represented developer KUD. KUD may very well be the Santa Monica firm hired by Lewis Wolff to visit and assess Oakland sites. Based on KUD's portfolio, much of their experience is in developing waterfront properties. I visited the OUSD site several weeks ago, and while it has positives (mass transit, location), there are definitely issues in its shape, size, and the lack of parking (you can see this from the aerial photo in the file). The lot is shaped like an inverted "J", and unless other surrounding blocks are acquired to round it out, it can't properly accommodate a ballpark's footprint. Also, putting it in a decidedly residential neighborhood may turn a ballpark there into Wrigley Jr.
  2. Coliseum B-C Lot - This may or may not be the main option for building a ballpark. It's the least sexy option because it's the most difficult to foster other surrounding development, but it's also probably the cheapest to build because of zero land acquisition costs.
  3. Diridon South - The main San Jose site is just a block from the train station and two blocks from the HP Pavilion. San Jose's Redevelopment Agency has been given the green light to acquire the site. Funds are a bit tight but it is expected that money to buy the site will come from the sale of other properties. There exists an issue with the PG&E substation on the west side of the site which probably won't be easily overcome or circumvented.

Next up: the Laney College Athletic Fields, and the Uptown and Howard Terminal sites.