24 July 2006

SJ Bizjournal articles

I've had a chance to read the articles (thanks to all who have helped) so I can now give me take on them:

  • The NUMMI article introduces a new factor that I hadn't been aware of - the building of a hybrid car plant. If Toyota's smart they'll move forward with the hybrid plant, despite the high costs of doing business here. The fact that a Prius or Highlander hybrid is actually built here in California is pure PR gold for Toyota and should increase sales volumes, especially within the state. They'd also finally be able to do something constructive with the land without worrying about encroaching development. If NUMMI is still concerned about residential development next to the plant, having another plant running 24/7 next door should eliminate the threat. Whatever their plans are, a plant sounds better than having a parts distribution center, which was under consideration when I called NUMMI last year.
  • Still, the NUMMI site has to look attractive just for the potential to a future BART, even if there's no timeframe for BART to come to Warm Springs right now. As I understand it, Santa Clara County leaders are redoing their plan to scale the Santa Clara extension back to Milpitas or Berryessa. That would impact ridership estimates, but at least this time they could look realistic. Since VTA's light rail ridership is up and should continue to rise, it might be a good time to explore and emphasize a LRT-to-BART link at the Great Mall. Fremont Mayor Wasserman seems to have his preference of sites - Pacific Commons.
  • Some of you have asked me if there's a possible that both sites (or portions thereof) could be used - one for the ballpark and village (NUMMI) and the other for housing (PacCom). I suppose it could be done, but it would require two new and completely different environmental impact reports, marketing changes and new infrastructure requirements. I won't rule it out, but it looks prohibitively expensive unless someone can figure out a way to divvy up the land appropriately.
  • As for Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone, he's always been the head cheerleader. As one of the leaders of Baseball San Jose he's always been out in front, despite the political machinations that have occurred within. Notice that he stops short of outright slamming Fremont, other than to say that downtown (San Jose, that is) is preferable to suburban. There's a reason why...

As I am not a print subscriber, I don't have access to the new articles from today's edition of the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. And considering the fact that I am nearly 7,500 miles away from a local newstand or vending machine that carries the paper, I'm pretty much S.O.L. on the articles. In fact, last week I was asked if they could use one of my overhead graphics. Alas, I was "in the bush" so to speak. If one of you gentle readers would be nice enough to recap the articles and send me your thoughts, it would be much appreciated.

Here are the links:
Absent the actual text, I'll refrain from commenting on the articles, except that the headlines are rather salacious.


Georob said...

That's a shame, I guess they needed to boost their profit margins. And ironically, the official transition date to the new "subscriber only" policy is today. It makes me wonder if the "salacious" headlines are designed to get folks to "ante up" and buy a subscription.

However, if there's anything of substance in those articles, other news outlets will pick them up eventually. Which of course is small consolation for us.

What I liked about these business journal pieces is that they'd often provide background and historical information in order to bring its readers "up to speed" on the issue who may not have followed it we and others have.

But I've also seen them at times engage in wild speculations that would have little chance of ever becoming reality, so we may not be losing much when all is said and done.

If is that serious, they should do what the Wall Street Journal does and offer a cheaper subscription for those who just want online access. Of course, that dosen't help the advertisers who want their print ads seen.

murf said...

The headlines pretty much tell the story.

PC is painted as the more workable option of the two Fremont sites, with the potential Bart connection to NUMMI played as unessential. What was interesting, though, was that the Fremont City Manager made a distinction (when referring to BART) that "this" fan base would rely less on BART than the "current" fan base -- suggesting that at least in his mind East Bay fans won't bother making the trip down.

The Stone article was pretty predictable. Larry is stating publicly what some have speculated about... Wolff possibly giving the Giants an ultimatum of negotiating a price for SCC rights, see the A's move to the SCC border while the Giants get no return. Stone goes as far as to state that the team, if located in Fremont, would be called the San Jose A's and would be marketed to the South Bay's corps. While the latter would certainly be true of a Fremont ball club, I think Mr. Stone may be trying to himself prod McGowan with the former.

Kevin said...

This has nothing to do with the SVSJ Journal article, but just exactly what does having territorial rights mean? Does it also restrict naming rights, advertising and retail outlets within the territory?

Oakland Si said...

the A's current fan base is the entire Bay Area (north, east, south and west). that is one of the reasons why Oakland is the best location geographically and in terms of access (not to mention historically).

IMO San Jose makes more sense than Fremont since it's a city of over a million, and the Fremont site's problematic access would make it less likely to appeal to the A's current fan base. Assuming the territorial issue with the Giants is resolved, Wolffe may be guessing that the potential increased San Jose fan base would offset the decrease due to the ballpark being farther away from the rest of the current fan base. (not to mention that San Jose is not that easy to get to if you want to take public transportation and don't actually live fairly close -- and what about those freeways?)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stone makes light of something that I've thought all along...that the Territorial Rights are (or were) all part of the Giants grand ploy to rid the A's of the Bay Area entirely. Perhaps the rights had more weight/relevance during the A's last ownership group. Think about it...Schott/Hoffman fail to build in Oakland, they look to San Jose/Santa Clara, where they are succesfully blocked/kept out by Magowan and Co. With Fremont no where on their radar and feeling frustrated, Schott/Hoffman then sell the team to an ownership group that takes them to Vegas (Reggie Jackson?), Portland, or San Antonio. The Giants would then have the Bay Area all to themselves...the genious of the territorial rights! The trouble with the grand scheme...the Giants never saw Big Bad Lew Wolff coming! Viva San Jose!!

Georob said...

It's amazing how people like Larry Stone just make up stuff.

Territorial rights were created in 1990 to allow the Giants to move to Santa Clara had they been unable to get a new stadium built in SF. The A's were doing well in Oakland at the time and knew that having the Giants in the South Bay would only strengthen their market in the North.

Plus, Walter Haas was a good friend of Giants' owner Bob Lurie as both the Luries and the Haas' were established old-line San Francisco families. Therefore, the A's were more than happy to oblige the Giants.

However, people are going to believe what they want, so why should I waste my time? The blogosphere is gearing up for a Zito trade in the next few days which, if it happens, will set the conspiracy theories into high gear.

Enjoy the ride....

Marine Layer said...

Just so you understand, Rob, Stone spearheaded the movement to bring the Giants down to the South Bay. So he isn't necessarily "making stuff up." That doesn't mean he has control over the situation, but he does have a unique insight into the effort. And he definitely has not forgotten how the South Bay's rights have evolved from a mere favor to the crown jewels.

Anonymous said...

As for the update...what's the reason for Downtown SJ over suburban Fremont as it relates to an A's ballpark? I'm assuming it has to do with money or property values in Downtown San Jose. I would like to hear Marinelayers professional answer/opinion to this question.