Pages

10 May 2007

A's sign Fremont land deal

Chron's Patrick Hoge reports:

The owners of the Oakland A's announced today that they have signed a contract to buy 168 acres for a proposed ballpark development in Fremont.

Lew Wolff, the team's managing partner, said the deal will allow him quickly to submit an application to the city for a roughly 32,000-seat stadium, surrounded by housing and high-end commercial development.

Really? It sounds different from what the Argus's Chris De Benedetti reported earlier today:

There is no new information regarding the land transaction, a Cisco spokeswoman said. ProLogis spokesman Arthur Hodges declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Wolff has been meeting with Fremont staff members as often as twice a month since December to discuss the project. The A's are scheduled to meet again with city staff members May 17, Fremont officials said.

As to when the A's might submit a development application or a formal plan, that step is "probably a few months away," Wolff said.

Alrighty then. Here's the obligatory map if you want to familiarize yourself. The A's are buying the yellow section.

This is a pretty big move. Not "done deal" definitive, but rather "planting their stake in the ground" serious. That stake has to be worth around $200 million. Correction: According to the press release and Barry Witt's report, the A's have amassed 226 acres. Land value is around $500 million.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

WHOOOO HOOOOOO this is great news!

I think this shows that ownership isnt playing games and is serious about wanting to stay in the East Bay!!!!!

Can't wait to hear how the conspiracy theorists spin this...how this equates to the A's just playing Fremont till they can move to Vegas, etc...

Anonymous said...

It's a sad day in the glorious history of the Oakland A's.

Anonymous said...

Not at all...it is a GLORIOUS DAY for Fans of baseball in the East Bay Area, Fans of baseball in Alameda County!!!!!

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

James said...

Just posted on the Arugs website:

BREAKING: A's close land deal for new stadium
Team to control 226 acres in south Fremont for Cisco Field
By Chris De Benedetti, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 05/10/2007 02:46:31 PM PDT

FREMONT — The Oakland A's announced Thursday afternoon that the team has signed land agreements with ProLogis and Cisco Systems for 226 acres in south Fremont to build the new Cisco Field stadium and adjacent ballpark village.
"I am pleased that this important stage in our goal of creating Cisco Field and the baseball village is complete," A's co-owner Lew Wolff said in a statement.

The terms of the deal were not released.

The announcement comes two days after Wolff unveiled an economic report to the Fremont City Council, touting the financial benefits that the stadium and ballpark village could bring to Fremont and Alameda County.

The ballpark village would have up to 2,900 housing units covering 120 acres, giving it a density of 24 homes per acre, according to the study. The commercial space would be 550,000 square feet of stores, restaurants and a 100-room boutique hotel.

The ballpark, which would seat between 30,000 and 34,000, would have an estimated construction tab as high as $500 million.

Three weeks ago, Wolff filed a one-page document that city officials called "an application to negotiate a development agreement." The A's also have paid a $500,000 deposit that they included with the filing.

Wolff has said he will file the development application when he finalizes the land deal. Cisco Systems, a San Jose tech company, has a 34-year lease to control the land, which is owned by ProLogis (formerly Catellus), a Denver-based tech giant.

Jeffrey said...

I agree with the great day comment. I will enjoy creating memories with my girls for the next 30 years or whatever.

Sad day in Oakland too. I will miss the coliseum from a nostalgia perspective.

anon-a-mouse said...

One more step toward this great franchise getting what it deserves: a beautiful, brand-new, baseball-only ballpark. Thank you Lew!

Transic said...

Press release on the official A's site. Yep, from their house organ to our eyes.

http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20070510&content_id=1956786&vkey=pr_oak&fext=.jsp&c_id=oak

Anonymous said...

WHOO HOOO!
This is an even greater day for the South Bay! Considering that Fremont/Pacific Commons is considered a part of Silicon Valley. I can hear it now..."Welcome to Cisco Field, home to your San Jose Athletics of Fremont." YEAHH!

Georob said...

In every public comment he's made, Lew Wolff has gone out of his way to emphasize that the A's are staying in Alameda County. To then turn around and adopt "San Jose" as their name is not in their best interests and would just make East Bay fans angry.

"Silicon Valley" will more than satisfy corporate sponsors and actually be honest. Because while Silicon Valley extends into Alameda County, San Jose does not. And has ML said before, the global community recognizes "SV", not "SJ"

But just as some Oaklanders perseverate on city limits, so do some San Jose supporters on the name. Knock yourselves out!

Anonymous said...

To call them anything but the Fremont A's would be a farce. That is where they would be playing, and Fremont is the city ponying up the money and putting up with all the nonsense of having a major league team. Besides, Fremont is twice the size of Green Bay, WI. Fremont should insist they be called the Fremont A's. Just ask Anaheim how the "of" works. What is Wolff going to say, that there would be no deal if a requirement is that they be called Fremont? Play your trump card Fremont.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

I suspect that 8:38 is acually an OAFCer (or Oaf, for short), trying to rain on the parade...

Anonymous said...

Wolff to ask for $250m in subsidies?

Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff held a conference call with reporters yesterday in which he dropped more hints about his $450 million Fremont stadium plans. Highlights, with translations for the layperson:

"We're trying to identify various forms of assistance ... Hopefully, we'll come up with a financing plan that everyone finds acceptable. ... We're intending to cover all the net costs."
Translation: "Net costs" means that there are "gross costs" that Wolff won't cover - ones, presumably, that he claims aren't really costs because taxpayers would recoup their investment by increased revenues. Taking his dubious economic consultants' conclusion that the project would bring in $18.6 million a year in new tax money, then, we can guesstimate that Wolff will be asking taxpayers for up to that figure in annual subsidies - or roughly $250 million worth of stadium costs.

"We're meeting with the [city] staff on a consistent basis. I think [a proposal is] probably a few months away."
Translation: We want to hash out all the issues behind closed doors, and then and only then we'll present a plan that we think will pass the city council. Those guys in New York did it right.

"We have a plan B if we run into certain things. [But] our goal is to be in Fremont and stay in Alameda County."
Translation: If some of you sportswriters want to scare locals into thinking we might move to Las Vegas, I'm not going to complain.

Wolff also announced today that he's signed a contract to purchase the site of the proposed stadium, which should be no surprise to anyone, given that he was supposedly "close to completing negotiations" for it all the way back last April. Still, it's always nice to give the headline writers something to ooh and aah over.

Marine Layer said...

If you're going to lift an entire post from Field of Schemes you should at least do the courtesy of citing Neil de Mause.

Unfortunately, de Mause is painting this situation with severely broad brushstrokes. The tax projections aren't dubious at all. The issue at hand is costs.

Anonymous said...

The team will rightfully be called the Fremont A's. Fremont is the city which will be asked for subsidies in terms of rezoning. It makes perfect sense that they get the name recognition out of the deal. After all, Fremont will be the A's new hometown. It would be a slap in the face of Fremont residents if the A's didn't take the Fremont name. And I'm not just talking about the silly @ Fremont designation. It should be the "Fremont A's" pure and simple.

Anthony Dominguez said...

People, Please! Have you all forgot what Lew Wolff has already stated, that the name of the A's at Pacific Commons will not be Fremont, but will have "of Fremont" in it. The politicians and citizens of Fremont already know this. Plus, a large San Jose company, CISCO, has naming rights to the ballpark (in case you've forgotten). Also, strong San Jose links in the ownership group (DiNapoli Family). SVLG support! Lastly, the Merc's Mark Purdy has had many a personal conversation with Lew Wolff...he says the A's will be known as the "San Jose Athletics of Fremont." Enough said! Hi Rob.

James said...

Anthony, please cite one instance where Wolff told anyone that the name will be San Jose A's at Fremont? I'm been paying pretty close attention to these issues, and I have yet to see where he has confirmed anything but the at Fremont part.

Cheers!

anon-a-mouse said...

He has said it will be "at Fremont" and he has said he likes a regional name: East Bay, Bay Area, Alameda, Silicon Valley, etc. It also seems clear that he is hoping to attract more business from the South Bay's tech community. Everything is subject to change, but taking that altogether, I think he is leaning toward Silicon Valley A's at Fremont.

In any case, I don't think they're going to make an official announcement until just before moving into the new park, so it will be a long time until we hear anything definitive.

Transic said...

If you check the original news conference, the one where they revealed their partnership with Cisco, Wolff only alluded to "___ of Fremont" and he even joked about "Omaha A's at Fremont".

http://cbs5.com/business/local_story_130164344.html

They still have that video up at the webpage I just posted. So anyone can still find Lew's original comments on the name.