21 August 2005

The media has questions

The Chronicle has a new editorial that has the same tone as Thursday's Tribune op-ed. I imagine Wolff must be a pretty good poker player, though I imagine he's more likely to play hold-em, stud, or baseball than no-peekie. Then again, with so many Saturday evening games, perhaps he's a fan of night baseball.

Eric Lai of the East Bay Business Times has an excellent article on the impending land acquisition efforts. There are some mind-blowing numbers, including an estimate by the paper's analysts that the land in question could be worth up to $315 million. Or, at the below market rate of $20 per square foot, the land would cost $126 million. Keep in mind that the purchase of the land would not be a cost borne by the City of Oakland, but whatever the final figure may be, it's a substantial investment. The payoff potential is enormous though, as Wolff and his partners could net hundreds of millions if not billions if they built, say, 5,000 market rate condos on the site. The piece ends with a rather ominous note:
Wolff has set a one-year deadline for garnering the political and monetary support for his project. That assumes unrealistically quick cooperation from a wide range of government bureaucracies, critics say.

"Lew might have come up with something so big in order to see Oakland fail," said Zennie Abraham, a former Oakland mayoral adviser and sports business owner.

Having made his best effort, Wolff would then be free to negotiate moving the A's to a city such as Portland, Sacramento or Las Vegas, all of which are clamoring for a Major League Baseball franchise and willing to pony up more money than Oakland is.


Elliot Ferber said...

are you serious?