22 March 2006

Wolff responds + Matier & Ross write obit

Neil Hayes' new column in the CoCo Times has quotes from Lew Wolff. There's no doubt that Wolff pays attention to the media and fans, as seen from this quote:
"I didn't know we needed to stay within the city limits of Oakland to serve our market," Wolff said in a phone interview. "We haven't discussed anything outside of Oakland at this point, but we haven't come up with anything, either. It's not for lack of trying."
Wolff also sought to clarify the circumstances that surround the A's and Oakland:
"It's a priority (for Oakland), but if you list the priorities it's not a No. 1, 2 or 3 priority, and I agree with that," Wolff said. "They have school system issues, crime issues and limited resources. Nobody is at fault here."
Hayes, for his part, helps by painting Wolff as a tireless worker who has spent the last three years looking for a site within Oakland:
So, let's recap: Wolff is uniquely qualified to develop a new ballpark. He has spent three years trying to identify a potential site in Oakland, even promoting a plan for a new stadium near the current Coliseum location that would have cleaned up a blighted area, spurred much-needed economic activity and helped relieve the city and county's financial burden.
Wolff's final quote has me searching for a shrugged shoulder emoticon:
"I've been so pleased with my first year, with the fan base and the employees, that my decision is that if it's humanly possible, I want to stay in Alameda County," he said. "If someone doesn't believe that or sees it as treachery, well, what can I do about it?"
In light of this response, I'm not sure he'll now elicit more understanding or more venom. Only hindsight will provide any real clarity.

Chron's Matier & Ross throw a log on the premature funeral pyre at the end of their column today with a short chronology of recent Oakland tribulations.

To those that think Oakland is going to somehow come up with an 11th hour proposal, consider that the three of the most prominent pols that can positively influence the process are all vying for the mayoral job. They're all differentiating themselves and are rallying support. Who among De La Fuente, Nadel, and Dellums is going to risk adding the A's as a platform item? They're talking about a state of emergency in the city and a teacher strike. All things considered, focusing on the A's seems a bit trite.

SJ Water Company lot to Adobe?

In December I posted a chronology of events that have occurred in San Jose over the past year related to various developers and landowners who have property near the Diridon South site. One of the more important developments was the decision of San Jose Water Company to sell its downtown lots. A parcel on the 8-acre SJWC property may finally have a buyer. The Merc reported today that Adobe is interested in buying the eastern 5-acre parcel, for which there are entitlements for up to 1 million square feet of office space. Adobe would build a fourth tower to complement the three-tower complex Adobe currently occupies on the other side of Guadalupe Parkway (CA-87). The location would make the new tower smack dab in the center field view, with the other three towers in the right field view. Adobe would get so much free publicity from having those sites visible from the ballpark that they wouldn't have to bother with naming rights since having the buildings in plain view would be much more cost-effective for them.

The article didn't reveal any potential buyers for the 2.5-acre parcel to the west of the Adobe-coveted site. That site is zoned for 325 housing units and up to 15,000 square feet of retail. It'll be interesting to see who ends up with that parcel, since those entitlements could be key for a San Jose financing plan. To see how close it is, take a look at this map link. The residential parcel is the triangle defined by Delmas Ave to the east, Los Gatos Creek to the west, and light rail/W San Fernando St to the south. It's only a few hundred feet northeast of Diridon South.

The San Jose Sharks may have a say in the end about how the parcels are developed. The team has an agreement with the City of San Jose to have a minimum inventory of parking available for all events. If the property were to be developed without replacing parking the inventory would be reduced by 855 spaces, which is nothing to sneeze at since the lots get heavy use for all heavily attended HP Pavilion events.