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03 February 2009

This week in Fremont

In an opposing view on the Argus op-ed page, former candidate for Fremont city council Vinnie Bacon takes on Dominic Dutra's piece last week and raises questions about the proposal in the process.

Meanwhile, Bizjournals has word of the A's making Warm Springs their main focus (the decoupled option). I may not have been clear about this before, so I'll say it now: I don't like the Warm Springs concept. Compared to the Pacific Commons plan, it's rushed and poorly conceived. The fact that a specific parcel hasn't been identified and a project level site plan isn't available only feeds into area residents' fears. If, as Lew Wolff says, the A's are trying to earn the residents' support, the effort so far is an epic fail.

This Thursday, the A's are scheduled to have a meeting with 25 members of the Warm Springs community at Weibel Elementary, a school only 1/2 mile from the oft-speculated ballpark site. The fledgling Fremont Citizens Network plans to protest outside the meeting. Could get interesting.

30 comments:

franks a lot said...

First off, thanks for the updates.

It is seeming more and more like Warm Springs is a deadend.

Fremont's last chance to land the A's is dependent upon the undeveloped WS project proposal, which just a couple months ago was just thrown in the draft Pacific Commons EIR as an alternative to mention in passing.

It seems that the hurdles pertinent to the WS site is a bit more insurmountable than the prospect of overturning the terriorital rights in San Jose.

I'm hoping for San Jose A's at San Jose now. Forget Fremont...

Jeffrey said...

I am tired of hearing the argument about the Coliseum not driving economic development.

That was a facility built 40 years ago and the design of stadiums and surrounding development is completely different now. Why not look to more recent stadiums to assess economic impact?

I used to work down the street from where AT&T Park is when it was nothing but a rundown, blighted warehouse section of town. I drove through that area this past weekend and it is amazing how much that area has changed. The development is pretty much entirely driven by the ballpark being built.

I am not sure that this is possible in the WS area, in fact I agree with ML that Pacific Commons was the better option. The decoupling really takes my enthusiasm down a few notches. And I'd be hard pressed to tell anyone who doesn't want a ballpark in their neighborhood to "sit down and shut up."

But please, quit throwing up the "Oakland Coliseum" warning. I don't see it as even being analogous.

Anonymous said...

Awe, the vicissitudes of life.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope that the protestors are sizable in numbers and loud in volume. The best location for this has always been downtown San Jose-

Time to move on with it--the sooner the Fremont pols are convinced that its not worth the effort the sooner dirt can start to be moved in SJ for a new A's stadium....which is what all A's fan's should work towards.

nathan said...

This is just Lew Wolfe using the same tactics that he used in Oakland, when he introduced that ridiculous 66TH to High project that he knew would have no way of passing. He sees the SJ option opening up, thanks to his boyfriend Bud Selig, now he wants it to look like he really tried to make Fremont work, but the community was too inflexible. So, he has no choice but to pursue SJ. Whatever, now that they're leaving Oakland, I really don't care what happens to them. You don't want to be here anymore? Fine! Get the hell out!

Anonymous said...

Nathan, please.


Give me a break. The whole PC project was hardly a case of only appearing to want to make it work.

Sheesh, why did Wolfe buy all of those parcels then?

I suppose he is twisting the arms of Costco and Lowes as well, telling them to oppose the project so he can skeedaddle off to San Jose.

ANYTHING that keeps the A's in the Bay Area in a new ballpark that makes them a competitive (economically) franchise is a positive.

Jeffrey said...

nathan,

Can I borrow your tin foil hat?

Seriously, what is with the conspiracy theory... the A's have needed a better facility for a long time. Over a decade. The Oakland thing doesn't really need a rehash, but I will put it out there anyway... besides the Ballpark Village by the Coliseum, the best idea was Uptown, which basically got Robert Bobb fired for pushing it. Beside that was Auto Row, which has been designated for a different purpose.

The A's can't magically make a site, financing and everything else just appear in Oakland. And even if they aren't 100 per cent behind staying, there hasn't been any real help from the city government either.

nathan said...

I was referring to Warm Springs actually. And, in case you haven't noticed PC isn't going to happen because of the housing collapse. Lew Wolfe coveted that land forever, and he used the A's as a catalyst to obtain it. Now, he has that land, and a possible run at a SJ A's stadium, along with his MLS stadium that no one is going to go to. Congrats Lew. You may very well be the only person who has benefitted from the current economic climate. As far as them staying in the BA, I've heard enough derogatory comments about Oakland from people in the South Bay (Including Fremont) to know that it isn't my BA. They want to move to SJ? Go ahead. But, I'm an Oakland native. I practically grew up in the coliseum. And, I'll be damned if I'm going to support a lame-duck organization that's filpping us off as they leave. You may not know how I feel, but Oaklanders do.

David Little said...

Nathan is saying what I have been feeling, albeit with somewhat more enthusiasm!

I agree that the WS option is a red herring, just like the Coliseum ballpark village. The only real Oakland option was the Uptown location (which, by the way, is virtually empty nearly a year after the first apartment units opened up).

Wolfe is a developer. He is using the A's to accomplish his development goals. If the A's are successful in San Jose or Fremont it will be despite, not because, of Lew Wolfe.

Viva la Fremont Citizen's Network!

Anonymous said...

Point of clarification re the Oakland Broadway Auto Row site:

The "different purpose" Jeffrey says Auto Row is designated for is so-called "Destination Retail." Those plans aren't even penciled in, much less assured, and not really even adopted by the City Council except in the vaguest conceptual sense. And retailers aren't exactly tripping over each other to build huge new Bay Streets right now.

But in any case, Oakland's Broadway Auto Row options remain wide open for retail, ballpark, neither, or some beautifully synchronous combination of both.

-- FSU

Marine Layer said...

... as long as Oakland's pols have the collective political will to see it - whatever it is - through.

Anonymous said...

I continue to be amazed at Oakland's resentment of Wolff---even before his time as owner, Bobb, who was working to promote a downtown Oakland ballpark, was fired by Brown because there was no interest in working towards a downtown ballpark and keeping the A's in Oakland---this is the same city that already had the debacle of the remodel known as Mt. Davis hanging over their heads. Who in their right mind would ever build in Oakland?

You are right that Wolff is a developer, and has an expectation of being able to make money (humm--sounds reasonable to me)---but the fact that he is a developer is an asset and not a liability to building an A's ballpark in the Bay Area that will not only support the bottom line of the A's and the team they field but also the community they locate in.

Resentment, rather than apprecation, of the fact that this guy will save the A's for the Bay Area shows the true colors of so called A's fan...I am a fan as long as they are located in Oakland but if they are 30 miles down the road than I am no longer a fan...hummm---don't think you would win "fan" status-

When both the A's and Earthquake stadiums are built in San Jose, they will be incredibly successful, as is the Shark Tank---and it will be because of Lew Wolff's patience and committment to the community....keeping the A's in the Bay Area and bringing the Earthquakes back to the Bay Area.

Jeffrey said...

FSU,

I emailed Nancy Nadel about Auto Row and she said pretty clearly, a ballpark isn't in the plans.

Nathan,

I too was born in Oakland and grew up going to the Coliseum. You don't speak for anyone but yourself.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey--

Of course an Auto Row ballpark isn't in the plans. There are no plans, and no one who owns a baseball team is asking Oakland to build a ballpark. But you said the future of Auto Row "has been designed for a different purpose," and that's simply untrue. It's not been designed at all, and the vague purpose that exists is very compatible with a ballpark.

In addition, please realize that Nancy Nadel:

1. Is only one of eight Council Members.
2. Is politically marginalized to the extent that even her philosophically closest Council allies won't plan anything substantive with her, ever; and
3. Is, economically-speaking, an idiot.

None of this means that the political will for an Oakland Broadway ballpark will suddenly materialize. But nor does it mean the Auto Row site has somehow been considered and discarded forever. Quite the contrary.

--FSU

Jeffrey said...

FSU,

No need to get all confrontational about it. I know of you from AN and I know you are a smart guy with well thought out opinions.

I was just saying that when I contacted the entire Oakland City Council and the mayor, the only one who took the time to respond was Nancy Nadel and she was completely anti ballpark.

This was a much different response than I received when I emailed the entire city council about uptown and the Oakland Ballpark Village. Both of those times, I received phone calls from Iggy and Reid as well as emails from Nancy Nadel (who was still anti ballpark even back then) and Jane Brunner.

SO I take form that, there is little interest. I am a non resident emailing them and asking for them to help spur action, but I got to imagine I am not the only one who contacted the City Council and got nothing in return.

mike d. said...

but for the council to change their minds they need some input from the a's. if no one from a's makes contact with the city, the city wont plan any ballpark. the only reason we are talking stadiums in fremont is because of lew wolff. most of the work that the city of fremont has done is because lew wolff was intrested in building there.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that Pacific Commons was a very real effort on Wolf's part but I agree with Nathan that WS is essentially a poison pill.

I was all for PC but if it is to be San Jose then lets just get on with it.

--tramas

Jeffrey said...

I guess I am not so worried about keeping the A's in Oakland at this point. That road has been blazed multiple times and the city has never really stepped up. That is not saying that the A's haven't always preferred leaving, but the city council and mayor brown certainly made it easier.

Anonymous said...

let me just say this to everyone reading this...

i have a family member who works very closely with ron dellums and i was told that oakland is definitely not out of the picture. lew wolff just won't come out publicly and announce to the whole country that fremont and san jose (which will NEVER happen by the way) just aren't going to come to fruition due to the economy and the california financial crisis. i keep telling everyone that the a's aren't going anywhere for quite sometime. they don't have anywhere else to go and lew wolff doesn't want to look like an ass with his tail between his legs knowing that his last option is to stay put in oakland.

there is still plenty of land that could be developed and from what i understand the city does have some oakland sites still in mind that they are making very clear to wolff.

"We don't want to move. We don't want to start pitting cities against each other, but it's out of the question we'll stay in Oakland,"

that quote from wolff makes no sense?? how can you say, "we DON'T want to move," but then say immediately after that comment that staying in oakland is out of the question?? that clearly indicates that he never had any interest in oakland and only used those words to show the people of oakland that he tried. his whole plan from the beginning was to buy the a's and move them out of the city that brought us 4 championships because he's knows absolutely nothing about oakland. he's not even from the bay area so why would he even care for any of our bay area cities?? he doesn't!! he only cares about money and what his "boyfriend" bug selig wants while he's still the commissioner...which is to get a new ballpark for every team before his term ends.

lew wolff knows that's it coming more and more to a reality that his only option will be to keep the a's in oakland. if fremont was to ever happen...then it shouldn't be this difficult after several years of making his public announcement to get anything even started. san jose??? come on now people...that will never happen!! that's only a pipe dream for lew wolff and all the san jose folks out there!!

Marine Layer said...

I don't think Oakland is completely out of the picture from a process standpoint. Attempts to go south to Fremont and San Jose could both go down in flames. That would effectively leave Oakland and Wolff going back with his tail between his legs.

If that were to pass, Dellums will not likely be in office. His successor would have to take up the mantle, and there isn't anyone within the City Council that has shown he/she can handle this on top of the tasks that come with being Oakland mayor.

However, that brings me back to a question I posed last week to a commenter who believed the A's would get something built in Oakland. If both Wolff and Selig are hellbent on fleeing Oakland, why do you think there's a realistic shot of the A's building a new park there? It's not going to be any cheaper or less difficult politically to build there. (BTW I never got a reply from that commenter.)

Anonymous said...

"that quote from wolff makes no sense?? how can you say, "we DON'T want to move," but then say immediately after that comment that staying in oakland is out of the question??"

You are missing the context. "we DON'T want to move" OUT OF THE BAY AREA is what Lew was saying. The A's have made it clear that they do not want to leave the bay area, and that was what he was referring to.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:34 might have missed the context of the comment, but that still means then that he was right on the fact that wolff never gave a crap about oakland and that he's wanted to move the team out of the city ever since he bought them. while else would he say that staying in oakland is out of the question when there's still other sites that could be looked at??

Anonymous said...

Who in their right mind would do consider Oakland? For the 10,000 loyal fans I can understand being disappointed/pissed off---but no one would make a business decision to locate a team in Oakland-while it may have been misguided way back in the '60's it would be downright foolish today.

Wolff didn't make alot of money making foolish business deals--

Anonymous said...

anon 2.44...you're obviously an oakland hater like the rest of them. you must be from dublin or some city past hayward.

the only reason why the coliseum only brings in about 10,000 fans is because we have one of the oldest parks in the game. it has nothing to do with the city itself. you can bet if the a's ever get a new ballpark built in oakland the fans will show up in numbers.

we got 3 teams that play in oakland and have been here for many many years. how many teams do you have in your city?? get over yourself and quit being an oakland hater!!

Jeffrey said...

Oh yippeee... welcome back vitriol.

Anonymous said...

Has nothing to do with hating Oakland and everything to do with making smart business decisions--would the value of franchise located in Oakland be worth more than the value of a franchise located in San Jose--assuming that the stadium could be located in either area---look at the demographics...2nd wealthiest city in US, number of Fortune 1000 companies, availablity of discretionary spending dollars...on and on--

Its not only the A's that realize this but also the '49ers-one of the most attractive sports markets in the US is San Jose/Silicon Valley--not Oakland--

Get away from the victim mentality that everyone hates Oakland---and realize that the decision on where to locate is based upon who would/could support a team to the level required today to compete in professional sports

Anonymous said...

I love the Oakland folks who cry about their poor unfairly characterized victim of a city who just as quickly demean every city south of them. You hypocrites are getting exactly what you deserve. The rest of us are getting a welcome break from you fools within our fanbase. Enjoy the Giants.

Anonymous said...

don't be upset folks that the a's will and continue to play in OAKLAND. san jose isn't going to happen...why can't you guys learn to except that??

what does the 49ers have anything to do with this thread?? they would never have any reason to look in OAKLAND when we already have a football team retard! the 49ers are only looking in san jose because they have no where else to look and build a new stadium in their congested city...otherwise they would just build a new stadium in san francisco!

us oaklanders aren't the one's who are crying about anything...it's all you other oakland haters that are crying because the best bay area baseball franchise has and will continue to play in OAKLAND!! don't be mad at us because you have to come to OAKLAND to watch the warriors too!! i wonder why the warriors never moved from san francisco to san jose??? because OAKLAND is and will always be the center of the bay area!!

Marine Layer said...

I'll let that be the last word, considering this thread is about Fremont.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the worst idea to build a stadium so close to residence. It is absolutely selfish act if the decision is made without considering impact on the surrounding including school kids & residence.

The City Government is selfish and dictatorial in driving to this decision. The residents are not being consulted. The Mayor has clearly failed in his role to protect residents' interest. There have not been well thought thru plan before the proposal. The residents will sure use all their means to oppose this type of nonsense and outst the responsible Mayor who failed miserably in his job.