Pages

31 January 2008

Winter 2008 Progress Report

As the skies cleared up earlier this week, I got a quick glance of the light dusting of snow on Mount Hamilton and the hills east of San Jose. I figured that was my cue to dust off the progress graphics and post them anew. With no further ado, here are the five non-New York projects in motion and their relative statuses.


The EIR is in full swing and the site is acquired and largely cleared. Nothing else to report right now.



How's this for confusion: A
report released a week ago by the District of Columbia shows that the Nats ballpark is $43 million over budget, whereas a report released yesterday by a local labor union claims that the project is on time and on budget. The difference? Rising land acquisition costs thanks to eminent domain actions. Nevertheless the ballpark will, despite my misgivings, open April 7, less than two years from the original groundbreaking. That's good news for the A's, since they've got a shot to finish construction in a similar or even lesser timeframe - important if the approval process is extended for one reason or another. The big problem facing the Nats: Parking. Even though they expect up to 50% of the fanbase to use Metro to the nearby Navy Yard station, the team has counted only 5,000 parking spaces in the vicinity.


Construction of the downtown, open air ballpark began last May. Aside from squabbles about the price of the ballpark's land (sensing a theme here?), they appear to be on schedule. The Twins were, in a sense, winners in a game of public financing roulette. They and the University of Minnesota football team were able to score new venues last year, leaving the Vikings out for the time being. Both the Vikes and Twins were frequently considered relocation threats in the past, now only the NFL franchise is a candidate. Last year's bridge collapse appears to have squelched any talk of a new stadium for the Vikings. It's just too bad that the Twins "needed" a sales tax hike to fund their new digs, a point of regression when it comes to stadium financing. They also did an endaround past a normally mandated public vote in the process.



Next Tuesday marks a crucial step in the Marlins' quest for a stadium at the Orange Bowl (not their first choice of sites). That's when the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County may vote on a binding agreement to build a stadium with the team (the vote has been twice delayed already). The agreement may or may not be ready in time for the vote. While the pols scramble to get the deal in place, the deal faces greater scrutiny as it's only part of a massive $3 billion development plan. Former Philadelphia Eagles owner and longtime area businessman Norman Braman
filed a lawsuit against the city and county over the plan, claiming that the scheme misappropriates millions of taxpayer dollars while not involving the public in the process.


Speaking of public scrutiny,
various St. Petersburg-area groups are all taking a look at the Rays' downtown St. Pete plans. The Rays, chained to a watertight lease at Tropicana Field, have offered to get the land at the Trop developed, if the proceeds can help them escape the lease and move to the site of their spring training home, Progress Energy Park (a.k.a. Al Lang Field). The old park would be demolished and it its place would rise an open air stadium with a sail-like retractable roof to protect fans and players from the elements (well, except Florida heat). Concerns are coming in from downtown business and residents who worry about parking, and environmentalists who are concerned about extending construction into Tampa Bay, thereby threatening a manatee habitat. So far no local pols have visibly approved the plan, which seemed to come out of nowhere in late November.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Progress in construction??? What a load of crap!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15 ... what else did you expect coming from this site?

FC said...

Don't want to speak for ML, but I think the progress being spoken of here involves not having to demolish any existing structure. The parcel is basically flat and ready to go.

Marine Layer said...

Having leveled land is a big step. Beats having to wait to demolish buildings - which is why Florida and Tampa Bay are where they are.

I am amused at how a graphic can get someone worked up.

Anonymous said...

Nothing more amusing than coming to this site ... pure fiction.

Marine Layer said...

I hope you're entertained, anon.

anthony dominguez said...

Speaking of entertainment...Rob's going to definetely love this one. I often wonder this R.M.: if San Jose had been given the green light (freed!) to pursue the A's, could you imagine the cost of acquiring the Diridon South plots for a "ballpark" vs. "mixed-use, future housing." I'm pretty sure San Jose would have had similar issues as we are seeing in Washington DC and Minnesota. i.e., a land-owner holding out for a bigger "ballpark" payday, inflated land values, increased costs. Also, acquiring the land for a ballpark would have also required a public vote. Anyhow, Lew Wolff killed our ballpark dreams back in 06, and the land at Diridon has been successfully acquired for "future housing." (Although the relocation notice does say that the ultimate usage of the site hasn't been determined yet...hmmm.) GO FREMONT!!

James said...

You know, you anon posters amaze me. If you don't like the discussion here, don't come to this site. If you don't think the A's should move to Fremont, come up with a legitimate, reasoned argument against the move and we'll discuss it. I have yet to see any of you frame any initelligent argument against the move... all we hear from you morons is "The A's belong in Oakand" but no support for the statement. If you want to come on this site and participate, then participate. But posting as anonymous and spouting out these one-liners just makes you look stupid (which I suspect you are). Whether or not you like the message, ML's posts are researched and thoughtful. You certainly can't say that of Fatso's posts over at OAFC. Your biting little remarks bring nothing to the table other than to serve as a window to your childishness.

You don't want the A's to move to Fremont? Well they are, so act like an adult and get over it because none of you did very much of anything constructive to ensure their future in Oakland. (I would hasten to point out that bitching, griping, and complaining are not constructive.)

Anthony doesn't like that the A's are moving to Fremont because he'd rather see them in San Jose... he has arguments against the territorial rights and he frames them in an intelligent and well-spoken manner. That doesn't mean we all agree with him, but the man makes some valid points and brings something of substance to the table. It's called being an adult.

So get over yourselves already. The "load of crap" comment and "what else do you expect coming from this site" do nothing but expose your immaturity and lack of ability to develop and frame an argument.

anthony dominguez said...

Thanks for the kind words James. Actually, I'm not totally against the Fremont plan; anything to keep the A's in the Bay Area (the one place the Giants don't want them). Being closer to San Jose will also be nice. What I don't particularly like regarding Cisco Field is this attempt at faux urbanism and density...THE SITE IS CURRENTLY A DAMN SUBURBAN FIELD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Design the park as such. Anyhow, I won't complain too much in that department. As for my DSJ hopes, as I've said before, they'll continue until those pile drivers start putting in work at Pacific Commons. R.M., am I like one of those Japanese soldiers, firmly entrenched in various western Pacific islands, who finally surrendered WWII in the 1960's?

bartleby said...

James, you give the anonymous posters way too much credit. Simply put, they're trolls. Lots of drive-by one-liners, unsupported by facts, offered under a cloak of anonymity, and never a reasoned response when other posters actually try to dialogue with them. I'm not even convinced they're opposed to Fremont as much as they just like getting a rise out of people. They remind me of the tedious racist posters on Craigslist in this respect.

Georob said...

You know Rhamesis, I know you've avoided blocking anonymous posters in the interest of promoting a good dialogue(not to mention more posters). But this latest pissing match with the Anon who doesn't like the Fremont project "just because" is further proof that you need to re-think your rules here.

Can you at least block those who won't give a name? Or at least not respond to them?

Perhaps the ONLY redeeming quality of the OAFC site is that each poster's IP address is clearly shown. Of course that probably has more to with Diamond Lil being a control freak than sustaining the integrity of her board.

But I think a lot of us here are getting tired of sincere and (most of the time) reasoned opinions being shot down by anonymous "you're full of crap" responses. And to make it worse, we engage them further.

Very few (if any) message baords that are widely read allow this any more. You shouldn't either.

Marine Layer said...

Rob, I'm pretty comfortable with the way the comments section is run. I don't see the need for any further changes. I look at it this way: if I'm getting roughly the same amount of complaints on either side of the debate, the site's in a pretty good place.

Anonymous said...

I live in City of Fremont. I love A's moving to Fremont. You should be shame of yourself!!!!

FC said...

ML,

I'm sure you've covered this before, but what is your reason for allowing anonymous postings? Sorry, I must have been asleep in class that day.

James said...

Personally, I love challenging the one-liner anons. It doesn't take much to chase those gophers back into their holes.

Anonymous said...

I live in Concord and you should be ashamed of yourself for your lack of grammar skills as well as your lack of concern for the greater good of all east bay fans.

Marine Layer said...

Occasionally I get info from commenters who must remain anonymous. Sometimes their info will be, upon verification, incorporated into a new post or left unedited.

Anonymous said...

This is my city and my home town. If you hate A's moving to Fremont, than be Giants Fan. Fremont isn't a bad city. Shame Shame Shame on you!!!!

James said...

Anon 9:05, what about the greater good of South Bay fans? Or can you not see outside your cacoon?

Anonymous said...

South bay fans are mostly Giants fans who won't switch allegiancies. East bay fans (north of Fremont) are A's fans who won't get to go to as many games down there. A's will lose fans net-net going to Fremont.

James said...

Anon 3:00, please post the research results upon which you base your opinion.

Anonymous said...

james: have seen many research reports conducted on this - would suggest you open up your eyes a bit and observe the smell of common sense coffee as opposed to the stench of the marine layer odor.

also please post any such research that you have that runs counter to my contention.

(didn't think so)

Marine Layer said...

How intellectually lazy is that?

No links, no credibility.

James said...

Anon 3:00/4:27,

YOU said that South Bay residents are mostly Giants fans who won't switch allegiancies [sic.] and that A's fans north of Fremont won't be able to attend as many games. I simply asked you to back your statements up with authority.

Still, you insist that you've "read many research reports" to back your claim. Yet you fail to post a link even one. I think that would lead a reasonably intelligent, unbiased person to conclude that there are no such reports exist to back your contention.

I never claimed to have seen reports to the contrary, again I simply asked you to back up what you claim. It was your claim, not mine. If you believe it, defend it.

But, since you mentioned common sense, that would tell me that many of the more than one million South Bay residents, even if they now align themselves with the Giants, will become A's fans, especially since the name of the new Athletics will most likely include a geographic reference to San Jose or the Silicon Valley. Common sense tells me that many of the techies in the Valley will love the most technologically advanced sporting venue on the country. Common sense tells me that the yuppies of the South Bay, Fremont, Pleasanton, and San Ramon will love the concessions in the park and the restaurants outide. Common sense tells me that when they only have to drive 15 minutes to an A's game in Fremont, that they'll get to a lot more games than they currently might get to in San Francisco.

You are clearly just abother childish troll lurking this board and pissed that you're not getting your way. You lash out at Marine Layer, yet he is able to back everything he posts. Don't agree with him, try coming up with a credible argument based on facts or research. Otherwise, if you don't like the message, tough shit.

But the question remains, can you back up your statements?

Didn't think so.

anthony dominguez said...

Rhamesis,
Back to the subject at hand. My wife and I just had our taxes prepared by our taxman in Fremont. He resides near the Mission Blvd. and Paseo Padre (very nice house I might add). When we commented that he lives very close to the future home of the A's, surprisingly, he knew nothing about Cisco Field (I went on to explain to him the Pac Commons location and village concept). Our taxman didn't mention if he was for or against the project; just didn't know anything about it. Is the City of Fremont going to do some sort of outreach to nearby neighbors regarding Cisco Field (i.e. mailers, flyers)? Granted he lives about 3 miles east of the site, but they should have the right to know what's being developed in their backyard. As for us South Bay A's fans (and there are many of us), we'll help ensure that Cisco Field is packed 81 times per year!

Anonymous said...

So lazy!!!!!!!!!

Jeffrey said...

Concord anon... I recall numbers that state there are more season ticket holders, or as man, south of 238 as there are in Oakland.

Does anyone have links to data on where season ticket holders come from?

Marine Layer said...

The council has indicated there will be a schedule of public hearings, probably following the notice and release of the draft EIR. If it's anything like what we normally see with EIRs there will be several such sessions held in different parts of the city for citizen convenience.

Prior to the release of the EIR I doubt there will be meetings other than dedicated council work sessions like the one held a few weeks ago.

The BART-to-Santa Clara County extension just underwent a similar process with its EIR. Numerous outreach sessions were held in San Jose, Santa Clara, and Milpitas.

anthony dominguez said...

James,
Just to add to your post on 2/4 8:20: To get to Warm Springs/Fremont from VMC (Bascom/280 in SJ), with a little traffic, took about 20-25 minutes (via 880). To get to South San Jose from WS/Fremont (680 to 101), with a lot of traffic, took 30 minutes. Taking into account the widening of 880 in Milpitas/Southern Fremont, it will probably take South Bay A's fans about 15-20 minutes to get to Cisco Field. Getting back into San Jose after a night game; probably an easy 15 minutes. Weekend games; a complete breeze! Your common sense is right on...much easier for South Bay baseball fans (current and future) to get in a game at Cisco Field than laboring up 101 to San Francisco.

James said...

Man... ask a troll to back up their statements with facts or to defend their position with a reasoned argument and just listen to how quite a post can become. One can hear a pin drop!

Jeffrey said...

Speaking of BART to Santa Clara... Anyone know how that is progressing? Is there a realistic time line for implementation?

Marine Layer said...

They're still completing the EIR process. Once that's done comes the hard part, figuring out where the remaining will come from. Will it be a sales tax hike or a new request for federal funds? Not sure when that will happen.

anthony dominguez said...

Rhamesis,
Seriously brother, it is too damn quiet around here. Since the silence persists on the Cisco Field front, let me chime in on the BART to SJ discussion. As we are all well aware, Cisco Field will be financed in large part by the surrounding development. BART to San Jose/Santa Clara; will developments at future stations (Milpitas, Berryessa, Alumn Rock, Santa Clara/FMC) help finance BART construction? Also, any chance transportation bond monies, as well as some of the $950 million of the proposed HSR bond, help out as well?

Transic said...

If I may chime in...thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us the latest in ballpark meters! I guess the bad thing is I have to wait until the Spring for the next Progress Report.

They say that there may be movement concerning the Marlins. The Twins ballpark progress appear to be the most interesting story to follow so far, both because of its promising design and because this was one of the teams that was supposed to go out of business.

The big story, obviously for you guys, is whether the A's can manage to get out of the shadow of the Raiders and start a new life as the Fremont/Silicon Valley/Alameda Co/South Bay A's.

Would we have to wait until the summer to know where this is going?

Anonymous said...

Would this be grounds for changing the meter thing?

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/business/sfl-0215marlstad,0,5431696.story

Marine Layer said...

The meters only get published every six months, so anything new would have to wait until then. It's certainly an improvement, but I'll wait until all of the legal stuff's done before I update it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explaination, ML.

Speaking of legal stuff, it makes for a fascinating read:
http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2008/02/16/20/marlins_doc.source.prod_affiliate.56.pdf