10 October 2006

A's buying land next to Pacific Commons

Foreshadowing? Maybe.

The Trib's Paul T. Rosynsky and Chris De Benedetti report that a firm acting as a front for Maritz, Wolff, and Co. has recently bought 10 acres of land across the street from the target Pacific Commons site. No, it's not the land that I pointed out last week, but it's immediately adjacent. The assessed value of the land is $5.9 million, though the purchase price was not disclosed. Unlike the target site, this land is largely occupied by, coincidentally, high tech companies (listing/aerial photo).

Just to show how much Lew Wolff is trying to keep this under wraps, the reporters disclosed how Wolff initially didn't confirm that the company had bought the land, then confirmed it several hours later. If they haven't yet bought the concrete plant, news about the purchase of nearby parcels certainly won't help keep the prices low.

From the article:

Speculation that the team would build a ballpark in Fremont intensified the day Wolff was hired by former owners Steve Schott and Ken Hoffman as vice president of venue development.

Although Wolff promised to search for sites in Oakland first, he never gave up the idea of building a ballpark in Fremont. Its proximity to San Jose and open tracts of land always kept it a contender as a future A's home.

Then in March, Wolff declared that Oakland did not have the time or space for a new ballpark.

That certainly gives credence to the notion that the ballpark effort hasn't exactly been Oakland-or-bust.


Jeff said...

Wow, so it's beginning to look a lot like the A's have a direction. How much more land does Wolfe need to aquire for his park/village? Will the disclosure of the purchase by the press affect the aquisition of the rest of the needed real estate? I was also wondering if you could speculate on the positioning of the park based on the purchases to date. I would especially love a birds eye view from a high angle. I am kind of curious as to what is already in place and what area the potential village would occupy in relation to the park.

I am also beginning to wonder if Wolfe has already reached an agreement with Cisco for the PC site and is keeping the deal quiet in order to purchase other parcels adjacent to the site.

Jeff August said...

Oakland or bust?

I don't think the search for a new ballpark has ever been Oakland or bust, Wolff or no Wolff. Has it?

I remember the HOK study that was posted at included Pleasanton and Fremont at least. I thought Fremont was in the top three behind Uptown and the Coliseum Parking lot. I could be wrong.

Considering Uptown was handed to Mayor Jerry's friend from Ohio to develop and I was never excited about the COliseum parking lot, Fremont is not a bad alternative.

anthony dominguez said...

When can we expect seeing some architectural renderings of the Pacific Commons ballpark/village? Are we expecting the same ballpark design Wolff presented last year for Oakland? (hopefully the answers no)

Marine Layer said...

Sorry, just my poorly worded attempt at being clever.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are several iterations of the entire development based on several factors. Consider these questions:

What is the right retail mix?
How much parking will be included, and will it be garages or just lots, or both?
Where will the housing go?
How much housing will be built, and what density will the development be?
Will all of the land be purchased or will some of it remained leased?
How will potential transportation options be situated?

Even if we see some initial sketches and models, chances are the final development won't look much like the presentation.