22 February 2006

Wolff family visits Union City; more on Fremont

Meanwhile, Lew Wolff and his daughter Kari visited Pioneer Elementary School in Union City, where they read to 130 first- and second-graders as part of their pro-literacy program.

Fremont city manager Manny Diaz discussed Fremont's hopes of getting the A's. According to Diaz, the A's have inquired about Pacific Commons, the new development along I-880 and Auto Mall Parkway. Talks are definitely heating up between Fremont and the A's, though Fremont is still in the preliminary stages.


Zonis said...

If there isn't one already, will you be doing a photo-overview of the potential Fremont Ballpark sites?

Marine Layer said...

There's one already available in the sidebar called Fremont. I should probably update the pictures of the Pacific Commons site.

jrbh said...

I couldn't help noticing that there is no BART access to the "Pacific Commons" site and that it is, despite the name, basically a huge shopping mall on the flats of Fremont. It's a site utterly lacking in poetry or grace; it reminds me a lot, in the end, of the Anaheim site, which sucks too, or of the hopes for the Arlington site, which never panned out.

What it *is* is a huge chance for Wolff and Fischer to cash out. There's no community spirit or sense of stewardship involved in this at all. And to the inevitable responders who will say, "Hey, they're businessmen, what do you expect" my reply is, "Yup, they are, and I'm not loyal to businessmen. I'm loyal to people who understand and love baseball." Wolff and Fischer are apparently going down a road (figuratively and literally) that makes them no better than Schott and Hoffman.

Marine Layer said...

It's a little more complex than just cashing out. There are land use issues involving the NUMMI property, and if they're not willing to sell, it's not like Fremont's going to be able to exercise eminent domain.

Unless a site can be found in the Fremont hills (not going to happen), they're all going to be flat.

There's no BART at Pacific Commons, but a shuttle ride would be no more than 5 minutes away from the future Warm Springs BART station, the same as if a ballpark were built at the Estuary.

jrbh said...

A shuttle... can you imagine what a disaster that would be... thousands of people lining up to get in a *huge* bus line after every game?

And that's to get a shuttle ride to a BART station which doesn't exist and which is currently unaffordable.

Of course you're right, marine layer, that the issue is more complex than just "cashing in." But the "Pacific Commons" site's primary, number one use is as a cash generator for Wolff and Fischer. In terms of history, accessibility, or community, it's a disaster.

Marine Layer said...

Ever seen people leaving a Sharks game? Tons of them use shuttles. It works astoundingly well. The same can be said for the shuttles used by fans that leave A's fireworks games early for BART.

Wolff and Fisher are going to bring in investor partners for this development. They're not going to commit one red cent without some decent returns. I'm all ears for solutions (besides the status quo) if you have any.

Jeff said...

All the talk of shuttles reminds me of the lpg trams used by Disneyland to fairy guests from the parking structure to the park. It's one of the most efficient means of transporting people short distances that I have ever encountered. It doesn't appear to very expensive either. Three trams ought to offer more than enough capacity for a 40K ballpark.

Georob said...

I still would like to know when BART is coming to Warm Springs. We all know how long it took to get the other extensions buiit, and frankly I think we're looking ten years at the least.