25 July 2005

Matier and Ross talk Wolff

The always intrepid Phil Matier and Andy Ross spill the beans on sites:

Financial hurdles aside, the most pressing problem for the A's is finding a suitable location.

A few weeks back, after the A's had all but given up on the Coliseum parking lot for a new ballpark because of objections from the Raiders and Warriors, De La Fuente tossed up a Hail Mary -- suggesting the team look at a waterfront site on the Embarcadero already set aside for housing and retail.

De La Fuente said the 65 acres between 16th and Oak streets, being developed by Signatures Properties of Pleasanton, could easily be expanded by about 15 acres to accommodate a ballpark.

But another source close to the discussions, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the talks, tells us the A's have all but dismissed that site. Transit and freeway access are poor, and there wouldn't be a lot of other development opportunities for the team that could help it defray its construction costs.

Another site under consideration, according to De La Fuente, is the old Home Base property on Hegenberger Road between San Leandro Street and Interstate 880, just southeast of the Coliseum.
That, sadly, is another nail in the coffin in the Estuary plan. Maybe if Wolff got a partnership going two years ago, when he joined the A's as VP of venue development, he could have put together a comprehensive Estuary development plan that included a ballpark. Alas, we'll probably never know.

A surprising note is the mention of the HomeBase site (Coliseum South). The notion of development momentum I've discussed in previous posts has to be there for a plan at the HomeBase site to work.


livinging on said...

but is the south of colisieum site atractive for a condo development?
(based on lew's comments during the game in anahiem)
i haven't explored the area myself but
it does look pretty unsafe as a
residential neighbourhood
the condo idea hints strongly at san jose-drinidron or the fremont location

Marine Layer said...

That's the $64,000 question regarding the site. It is East Oakland, but the area is more barren than dangerous. For a residential developer, it's not a proven market since nothing new has gone up there in decades. That makes it a kind of Catch-22, since no one can predict if housing values there could rise high enough to help pay for the ballpark.

San Jose Diridon South is a natural fit for such a project, since housing was slated to go into the area anyway. Fremont is a little more uncertain because of NUMMI's position, but the transit village concept could make it work as well.

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