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04 May 2009

Everything old is new again

Matier and Ross report that there may be three locations presented by the Oakland Stadium Task Force. One is the Coliseum parking lot option, the other two unclear, though M&R are pointing to Howard Terminal and Oak-to-Ninth. Yes, this is all familiar territory.

Quick refresher: Howard Terminal (aerial view) was reopened in 2004, with shipping giant Matson signing a 25-year lease. A related deal, finalized only last year, has SSA Marine operating the terminal on behalf of Matson.

O29 is a bit more complicated. The largely residential development on the Estuary had its EIR certified in January (PDF), after 3+ years of legal wrangling. Unfortunately for developer Signature Properties, the timing coincides with a horrible decline in the housing market. The Ghielmettis have long maintained that they would be willing to share the site with the A's for a ballpark. However, the devil is always in the details. If putting a ballpark in means a significant drop in open space (which was what much of the legal wrangling was about), any plan would be likely be DOA, if not beset by renewed lawsuits.

Both sites would require new EIR processes to begin, as is common with new development.

At least the task force is aware that it can't just throw a couple of sites out there:
Planning Commissioner Doug Boxer, who is part of a public-private group led by Mayor Ron Dellums working to keep the A's in town, confirmed that part of the parking lot at the Coliseum would be offered as a ballpark site. But he said there has been no final decision on which two waterfront sites will be presented to the baseball poobahs May 12.

"We don't want to provide them with the same old sites that are going to have some of the same issues that have been identified as problematic," he said.

In other words, they're still sorting it out.

When the HOK study was completed in 2002, Howard Terminal and O29 emerged 4th and 6th, respectively.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the task force's presentation, which is scheduled for May 12th.

P.S.: Rich Lieberman comments further on the M&R report, though he must not have gotten the memo that the Marlins' ballpark plan has been approved, not killed. Miami-Dade County expects to sell the bonds in the next two months. The site has been cleared, the Marlins planted flags there over the weekend, and a very detailed site plan has already been circulated (thanks Transic and M Festa). The constant drone I've been hearing from Oakland partisans is "It's too hard to go anywhere else, just get it done here even though the potential isn't as good." It somewhat fits with the path of least resistance M.O. I ascribed to Wolff in the past. I understand the reasoning behind this, but it's not exactly an overwhelming sales pitch.

74 comments:

dbackman said...

The A's should definitely not take the path of least resistance. The goal here should be to build the best possible ballpark on the best possible site. Baseball is about more than just the bottom line, and I think everyone here, in their way, recognizes the great opportunity that a new A's ballpark represents, whether its in Oakland or San Jose. The Bay Area is one of the most innovative and progressive regions in the world, so there is absolutely no reason for any of us, regardless of allegiances, to settle for a second rate ballpark.

I gotta say, the Oak to 9th site looks really good. I live just a couple blocks away and would love to have the stadium within walking distance from my place. Less selfishly though, the thought of so many new units of housing on that site without a significant retail or entertainment draw is kind of scary. Oakland is already having such a hard time selling condos. Create an attraction like a ballpark and new residents will flock to the area, creating a strong synergy with the surrounding developments.

Too me, these are good sites, despite some inherent difficulties with the waterfront locations. You can dismiss them as rehashes of the past, but I think they are worthy of another look and Oakland seems to think so too.

gojohn10 said...

The coliseum parking lot option is not one I am interested in. The site has great transportation options. Thats it. I can't think of another reason to build there. Quoting the John Pastier article ML linked a while back:

...new stadiums can pull their cities together when properly designed and sited. This requires a downtown or neighborhood location...

Also, can someone please jog my memory. What was the reasons Wolff gave for rejecting the waterfront sites?

hamachi said...

I can't imagine the howard terminal site being any good for a ball park, in terms of changing an area anyway. it'd be a far hike to west oakland or 12th street bart for sure.

but it would be right behind my building, so I'd love to walk to the park.

Jeffrey said...

Looking back on the waterfront sites (they predate Wolff):

Howard Terminal- The main issue here was the removal of port activities and relocation, as far as I recall. I think in 2002 it was projected to cost $500 million ro more, which was light years more expensive than any other option. I doubt that has changed much.

There were questions about parking/accessibility but those cold probably be handled a lot easier than moving Oakland's economic engine.

Oak to Ninth: I think this one was rejected by the JPA, not the A's really. But it would have been expensive and NIMBY's in this area would make the Fremont NIMBY's look like a cakewalk. They just held up the building of the residential portion of the development for 3 years.

These "proposals" give credence to the "we don't want to open the door that can't be shut" and "rehashing old, already discarded" ideas lines of thought that Lew Wolff mentioned in his response to Mayor Dellums original email.

If this is what Boxer and the Oakland crowd has in mind, hopefully San Jose happens so I can still go an see my A's play.

hamachi said...

and where and when will the presentation on the 12th be? not sure if I can make it but I'd love to try!

Anonymous said...

I think if the Howard Terminal/Port of Oakland is considered, I think they would seriously need to consider building a small BART station along the existing tracks between MLK and Jefferson. That would actually make for an ideal stop and make the walk to a new ballpark as well as JLS only about 5 minutes away. Not to mention how much more people that area could attract when the new public market is finished with added retail and housing etc.

I have also heard from a reliable inside source that Oakland officials are also seriously considering the Oakland Fire Training site(450 Fallon St.) as a viable option. If only a few business owners were willing to relocate to lets say West Oakland, then that spot in my opinion would be the most ideal location. I've also done a little positioning with the footprint of a potential ballpark at that site and if it were facing SE(think Cromerica Park in Detroit), I think we could have the park facing the waterfront. I honestly favor this site over 9th to Oak St. due to the closer proximity to Lake Merritt BART, Oakland Amtrak and JSL.

dbackman said...

Yeah...Oak to 9th is a little bit too far from transit. The OFD site hits that sweet spot of proximity to both the JLS Amtrak and Lake Merrit BART. Glad to hear the city is giving it some thought. If that site is chosen, maybe I can watch the game from my fire escape.
Also, there has been talk of an infill BART station between 12th St/Lake Merrit and West Oakland. They considered three station sites, as well as other transit options like light rail. Really interesting study, though doesn't bode well for a BART station at that location. Check it out here:
http://www.bart.gov/docs/planning/JLSFeasibility1.pdf

Marine Layer said...

I agree that BART station would likely be necessary if the site is Howard Terminal. The 12th St station is a 3/4 mile walk (2/3 miles air) from HT, which is a bit more than desirable (1/2 mile or less). The BART wye is nearby, including a subway-to-elevated track transition. A new station probably would be located at 5th and Market/Brush, which is the first truly level section once a train has left the wye going west.

I covered the OFD Training site last month.

Anonymous said...

Jefferey,

I think we've all learned from past experiences that what Lew Wolff says through the media is no longer taken too seriously. He's said in the past the San Jose was no longer an option. He has said in the past that Oakland was no longer an option. He has said in the past that Fremont was going to happen.

I think at this point all he can do now is listen to what Oakland has to present with a very positive and open mind. His vision has changed quite a bit from his "ballpark village" plan due to the housing crisis so he will have to re-consider some old sites with new options and ideas. He is not going to want to fight MLB and the blue ribbon committee on this if they come up with a viable site in Oakland.

If he can say San Jose is back on the table as well as taking the time to meet with Oakland officials (which I know for sure he has already done on several occasions including last Thursday), then there's no reason why he can't take another look at what Oakland wants to present.

dbackman said...

It's funny because when I looked at this study a few years back, it seemed totally pointless to put a station that far west. At the time I was working on a design directly above the portal at 4th & Clay. That would be such a cool site for a station, but the grade of the tracks there is too steep to build a station without major disruptions. But a stadium at Howard Terminal would definitely justify an already needed infill station.

dbackman said...

There are only so many viable sites for a ballpark in any given city. Howard, Oak to 9th and OFD may not be perfect, but few sites are. The idea that these sites are no longer valid, simply because they had been previously proposed and not accepted is rather narrow-minded. Times change, conditions change, as we all have seen in the past couple years and months even.

Jeffrey said...

I agree, things change (thus the San Jose being in play scenario)but Howard Terminal is not viable, because the conditions haven't changed. There is nothing major that is different about that spot than there was in 2002. It is still a port and it is still expensive to relocate the port activities that go on day by day... and not to mention, why disrupt the economic engine of the city in order to build a ballpark... More power to 'em if they think they can make it work.

I agree no one should be so rigid as not to listen, but when the same sites that were considered and dismissed are now the "new" sites it doesn't bode well. How many times would you do the same thing and expect a different result?

I am not Lew Wolff's spokesperson, but I would point out that the "old ground" comments are from about a month ago. At around the same time that Wolff reportedly said, "I prefer San Jose."

I still will continue to pull for a new stadium somewhere in the Bay Area, but if this is what Oakland is planning (rehashing old ground) then I will expect it to be in San Jose.

Daniel said...

They should just take out 980 and put the ballpark in there.

dbackman said...

Jeffrey,
I agree with you about Howard. The port is one the best things Oakland has going for it economically and it would be foolish take away from that at a time like this. I just wanted to make a more general comment about the viability of the "retreads." Oak to 9th is a case where there is a significantly different landscape for development than when originally proposed. Not my favorite by any means, but worthy of reconsideration.

Developing the air rights over 980 is a great idea Daniel. But it will be a long time before a project like that ever comes to fruition. I would not want Oakland's stadium aspirations tied up in that sort of proposal

LeAndre said...

I would just like to remind everyone...Oak/9th and Howard were not officially stated for the presentation, they were suggested...Boxer has only confirmed the Coliseum Site and "two waterfronts"...

he also said..."We don't want to provide them with the same old sites..." so I think everyone is on the same page about not rehashing old ground...if Boxer would present a familiar site I'm more than confident that he knows it better come with solutions to the problems they faced before.

IMO...the Fire Training site will be on there

Anonymous said...

How much would a new BART station cost, $50 million? $100 million? Quicker, cheaper and easier to just pay off the Giants and move to downtown SJ, with a much bigger economic return.

Seriously, everything coming out of this task force reinforces that there were good reasons why Wolff gave up on Oakland in the first place.

Anonymous said...

All these sites come with so much added time, expense, and uncertainty compared with downtown SJ - Oakland better come with a big tub of public money if they want any of these options to be seriously considered.

Marine Layer said...

Split the difference. $75 million was the cost in 2006 for an infill BART station. I don't think that's changed much.

dbackman said...

Thanks for clarification LeAndre. I guess there was no need to defend the "retreads" after all. Let's see what they have to say before we all get too worked up about.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you guys even know how big the actual port of Oakland is?? I'm not talking about Howard Terminal, but all along West Oakland there's already more than enough land to relocate the day to day activities without disrupting the "economic engine" of Oakland. Do you guys really think that the small location of Howard Terminal was the one and only part of economic engine of Oakland's port activity?? Take a look at a map and you'll clearly see that Howard Terminal is only a very small fraction of how large the Port of Oakland really is along Middle Harbor Road. I think the city can make room to relocate for a brand new ballpark along the waterfront to boost JLS.

Marine Layer said...

It's not merely about relocating facilities. Matson wanted Howard Terminal specifically because they could consolidate operations there. The contract on file with the Federal Marine Commission allows only Matson-related shipments to come to Howard Terminal. Therefore, any relocation would require a new, similar facility, or major compensation to split them up again. Don't think that Howard Terminal is something that can be easily repurposed. It isn't.

Anonymous said...

I hear what you're saying ML, but I still don't think it's that big of an issue to make some adjustments. Besides, I'm pretty sure Oakland Officials have thought that through before even considering it again as a viable site.

Anonymous said...

Has the glass factory/warehouse down at the Fruitvale bridge ever been considered? That site is huge (bigger than the southern section of O29), is less than half a mile from Fruitvale BART (which is also a regional AC Transit hub), is served by three different exits from 880, and is right on the waterfront.

It looks like the city/A's would only need to negotiate with two property owners and they wouldn't be dealing with waterfront access NIMBY folks since the bay trail already runs down Alameda Ave along the side of the site.

Hmm. I think I'm on to something here.

Navigator said...

This is great news. Things have changed and the A's no longer need the acreage to build housing. This opens up a number of sites in Oakland which Lew Wolff discarded because of the ballpark village idea.

I like the Oakland Fire Department Training Site. It's close to BART, Amtrak, and the Ferry. There are already thousands of parking spaces in the various garages around Jack London Square with the possibility of adding on more parking by building another garage on the current Laney College parking lot across the freeway.

I also like the Howard Terminal site if Matson agrees to relocate. The Port of Oakland is huge. Anyone taking BART to San Francisco can see how much land is controlled by the Port of Oakland. Much of that land is very much underutilized. A new BART station at 4th & Clay would be a great idea. Jack London Square definitely could use its own BART station. The Lake Merritt station on Oak Street is perfect for the OFD site, but a bit too far from the Howard Terminal, the restaurants, and the waterfront.

Oak to 9th would be a very scenic location at the widest point of the Oakland Estuary. However, public transportation at that site would be more of a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 4:24,

Where exactly are you referring to, and can you give us cross streets??

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:10---You have the quote of the day.."I am sure Oakland officials have thought this through before declaring it a viable site...". A mere $500M to relocate current businesses---is LW expected to pick up that cost also---or will the Giants help to finance it so that they can be sure the A's stay in Oakland?

Its good to dream--but overlaying reality is what will ultimately be successful for Oakland if they truly expect to identify, purchase and prepare a viable site. Its not just a matter of cutting and pasting a stadium into a google map--real money has to be used at some point--

Anonymous said...

Sure, Matson will agree to relocate, why not? I mean, the big box stores in Fremont were so accommodating of Lew's proposal just to build next to their parking lot, why wouldn't a major private business agree to relocate their entire, highly specialized operation?

And sure, it'll cost a small fortune, but so what? Things have changed! We don't need extra land, because we no longer need a viable financing mechanism! We'll just charge it all to Uncle Lew and Uncle John.

So let's see, relocate a major shipping company, build a new BART station, hmmm, that $500 million dollar ballpark just became a $700 million ballpark. And in a location with considerably less income potential than San Jose. What the hell, Lew won't mind placing a $700 million bet on a region that has never supported the team; it's mostly John Fisher's money anyway.

Only problem is: They'll never get the financing. See nowadays, most lenders will actually expect to see some profit potential.

So all you not-one-foot-out-of-Oakland folks, put your money where your mouth is and start advocating a significant investment of public funds. I actually believe there's a case to be made that this would be a worthwhile investment for the city (at least for a downtown yard, not one at the Coliseum site). If I were an Oakland-partisan, I'd be screaming it from the rooftops.

If not, this is all just mental masturbation, because it's just not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Nav---LW is not going to "gift" a stadium to any city--at the end of the day the city will need to pay for it with redevelopment rights or in Oakland's case--a significant public contribution--the housing/redevelopment rights was the way to pay for the stadium in Fremont-Going forward Oakland is going to require a different formula---but its not gonna be for free---

Anonymous said...

Navigator,
You are sooo 7 years late with that proclamation "This is great news;" considering these HOK ideas are that old.

Look all, these sights were rejected for good reason back in the day, and there's no reason to believe that anything has changed. By the way, how and the hell would any of this get paid for? Cisco isn't going to Oakland, and all of the Silicon Valley/SJ honchos ready to build at Diridon aren't going up there either. Do I hear public subsidy or tax hike for a ballpark? The recession racked/crime weary citizens of Oakland will like that one.

anon 1:52,
This won't be about Wolff/The A's fighting MLB or the Blue Ribbon Committee. If Wolff/The A's want to be in San Jose and San Jose has its act together ballpark wise, then it will happen. They won't stop the A's just because Oakland has a site, or because the Giants assume they'll loose a couple of corporate sponsors and season ticket holders in Santa Clara County (an assumption that was blown out of the water recently by a Silicon Valley Leadership Group survey). If anything, this will be about the Giants fighting MLB and the Blue Ribbon Committee. And based on the Nationals now playing in Washington DC, we know how that "fight" will turn out.

In closing, by lending an ear to Oakland politicians and going over sites that have already been gone over, the Blue Ribbon Committee is dotting their i's and crossing their t's to prepare a report that we all know will conclude.

Old Blue A's Fan said...

Uh, excuse me, but if you're talking about relocating Matson and building BART stations, aren't you talking about a fairly large sum of money? Inasmuch as it would be highly unlikely that the A's would come up with the money, just who would? Oakland? Does Oakland have that sort of spare change sitting around?

A ballpark on the water near Jack London Square is a marvelous idea. Too bad nobody thought of it ten years ago.

After reading this blog for a couple of years now, I've come to the conclusion that the A's and Oakland are destined to split up. Oakland is too broke to entertain the idea of giving even modest support to the construction of a new palace; after the Raiders fiasco, any Oakland politician who even thinks of bending over again for a sports team will deserve to be ridden out of town on a rail.

Couple Oakland's financial plight with the bad blood between the city and the A's, and you've got a marriage that's irretrievably broken. Oakland should cease fighting the inevitable. Let the A's go to San Jose.

In fact, the city of Oakland and the die-hard fans should support a move to San Jose as the only realistic means of keeping the A's in the Bay Area. Continuing to fight this rear-guard action is only going to reinforce the Giants' whining and make it more likely that the A's and MLB will finally just give up on the Bay Area.

Navigator said...

Old Blue, You underestimate Oakland and Oaklanders.

Do you really think that a city as resilient as Oakland is going to sit back and just hand the A's over to the neighbor down the street?

Oakland has taken many punches over the years. A Firestorm which engulfed 3,000 homes, an earthquake which devastated many older buildings downtown and killed over 50 people on the Cypress Freeway, untold horrible and slanted press from a dominant city across the Bay, and the city just keeps fighting and comes back stronger and better than it has been in decades. The attempted pilfering of our baseball team pales in comparison to the challenges which this city has overcome in recent times.

You talk about deficits? How's San Jose's budget? San Francisco has a half billion dollar deficit. Who doesn't have a deficit in these historic times?

Oakland has history, tradition, and the truth of what has led us to this point in time, on its side. Oakland also has the advantages of a central location to the existing fan base, aesthetically pleasing waterfront locations, and very powerful and influential politicians living in the City.

It wont be easy for Mr. Wolff to tear that piece of Oakland's fabric and take it to San Jose. Mr. Wolff, and Mr Schott before him, bought this team not as custodians of the rich history and tradition of the Oakland A's, but as an opportunity to take this franchise to where there business interests lie.

Anonymous said...

Nav--...and if LW is not successful in San Jose than the next owner will take the franchise to where their business interests lie....and it won't be Oakland...which was Old Blue's point--

One question I would like Nav to answer is this---if the only way to keep the A's in the Bay Area is San Jose--then do you support their move to SJ? And just answer the question--don't need a rehash of all of your ramblings--just a yes or no answer to the question posed above--

Navigator said...

Who determines "the only way to keep the A's in the Bay Area?" Lew Wolff? Bud Selig? The Mayor of San Jose? Or, is it John Russo, Ron Dellumns, or Barbara Boxer?

You see, that's a very subjective question.

I happen to think that Oakland is a very viable location for Major League Baseball. I happen to think that the OFD site is viable as well as Howard Terminal and even the Coliseum parking lot.

Anonymous said...

"You talk about deficits? How's San Jose's budget?"

Big difference #1: San Jose doesn't need a public subsidy to lure the A's. The opportunity is great enough that Mr. Wolff will happily pay for the ballpark himself. The opportunity in Oakland is sufficiently less that it will need to sweeten the pot in some way to make up the difference if it expects to compete.

Big difference #2: San Jose is not proposing things which will add hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost just to produce a buildable, accessible site, like move ports or build BART stations. San Jose is putting together an ideal turnkey site which it will deliver to the A's wrapped in a big green and gold bow.

Navigator said...

San Jose doesn't need a public subsidy to lure the A's?

Who's going to pay for the infrastructure improvements? Who's going to pay for the relocation of that PG&E power plant? Who's going to pay the legal fees and mitigations to the irate neighbors in the neighborhood? Does Lew Wolff love San Jose THAT much?

Anonymous said...

Nav--you lack of answer to a simple question spoke volume's---you would rather see the A's leave the Bay Area to move to San Jose--and you call yourself an A's fan---what a joke

Anonymous said...

Nav- "irate neighbors" hardly constitute a majority of the city's residents--not to mention that currently live with an arena that seats 17,500 and is booked for about 150 days/year---they also live on the other side of the CalTrain tracks--same tracks that will have elevate HSR trains---my point being--its hardly a quiet area--its an urban environment that is very cool and will become even cooler when they build a ballpark--

PG&E substation most likely will be moved as part of the HSR--a separate project from the ballpark--not LW or SJ's problem--with the exception of extending Autumn to Coleman--which is also a separate project--the rest of the infrastrucutre is there---

And to answer your last comment--yes, LW does love SJ that much---thought that he has made that very clear--which is why we are at this point today--

Marine Layer said...

A ballpark can fit without relocating the PG&E substation. However, the substation is right next to the rail ROW. Building HSR may require moving the substation at some point. I'm sure the move can be a RDA project that benefits both.

Infrastructure improvements for an Oakland waterfront ballpark would be built mostly for the ballpark's benefit.

Anonymous said...

If they can make it work in a location like those two on the waterfront, I'd be all for it. If they can make it work.

LeAndre said...

Here we go again, "your city sucks" arguments...

This should be good news for all A's fans, we get to see a presentation soon, and despite the suggestions and assumptions we don't know what will be on it exactly, aside from the Coliseum site that has already been confirmed.

So this is what we know...3 sites that have been studied and worked on for months now by Doug Boxer, the son of Barbara Boxer, will be presented soon and could possibly be the new home for the A's...why isn't that good news?

If everyone thinks that Doug Boxer is so stupid to the point where he is just going to hand over old sites without any new solutions or credibility, your all being insanely naive. I too think Oakland has made some bad decisions and I too am tired of this back and forth game, but some of you need to give this opportunity a little more respect.

First off, Wolff has never asked SJ, Fremont, or Oakland for any tax payer money, he and all of us know he won't get a dime out of any city especially in California, so why are we bringing that up!...We all thought the ballpark village was going to be his way to pay for a park but we later learned that he has "other" sources...so that means, both the Fremont AND Oakland sites he attempted were going to be funded be himself without any public financing...if he was going to pay for it then with his "other" sources, I'm sure he will do the same now...the village always was just a further investment, which he was just trying to get real estate gain from, he wasn't going to pay for a ballpark that way...

Second, Cisco has already said that they will continue to support the A's wherever they end up as long as they stay in the Bay Area...So they will be on board.

Third, SJ still has T-Rights!!! its unfortunate, but its true...so can some of you PLEASE stick to the present and stop convincing yourselves that this is SJ's destiny, because we have been following this circus forever and none of us has really got a clue whats going to happen next...

We can argue corporate dollars and better location all night but the fact is, are only options as of now are in Oakland, or the rest of the East Bay, period. But if Oakland can't get it together with this presentation and if the MLB gets rid of the Rights, then we can bring up the South Bay. But until then stop comparing and focus on the present.

Anonymous said...

north points in 2 different directions on those 2 pictures. the sun will hit those 2 ballparks very differentlly, and then wind also. but sun mostly. i think the top picture will have the best sunlight.

the north arrow is in the bottom right corner of the picture.

Anonymous said...

LeAndre--just a few corrections-- first of all I don't pick up your city sucks from anyone--points being made as to what is viable--Nav, the Oakland supporter, is the one who refused to committ to supporting San Jose if it was the only option to keep the A's in the Bay Area.

Second, if LW is going to invest any of his own money he should get to choose where to invest those dollars--if MLB says it has to be Oakland--and Oakland is not willing to subsidize the deal---than LW will no longer be the owner and the A's will no longer be in the Bay Area---end of story--dream all you want--but that is reality--

Last, Cisco has made no such proclamation that they would retain naming rights in Oakland--they supported Fremont and they have indicated support for San Jose--nothing has been committed to Oakland--

Last---Doug Boxer and Oakland better have some slam dunk sites based upon comments and threats he and Russo have made about Wolff and MLB--and they better have a financing package that rocks--

Marine Layer said...

LeAndre, we talk about San Jose because it's making news. Like it or not SJ is also the present.

Actually, I have it on good authority that Doug Boxer has slipped up in the tact department more than once. I would be surprised to hear much else from Senator Boxer regarding the A's.

Any money coming from any municipality will be in the form of infrastructure funding. The question is for each municipality is, "Does it work for the general public?" There's an easy case to be made in SJ for that because of HSR. In Oakland it's a tougher sell.

Anonymous said...

Very well said LeAndre...bravo!!! I couldn't have said it better myself!

I'm loving any of the waterfront sites and think they would be perfect for the A's as well as for JLS. But I gotta admit, the old HomeBase lot is practically being handed to the A's on a silver platter. No additional parking would be needed. BART and Amtrak already exist right there. And there's plenty of opportunities to turn the Haggenberger area into something nice over the next few years with some hotels, restaurants and bars.

Anonymous said...

Attendance report for tonights game--6000 max according to my son and friends that were at the game--

Anonymous said...

Man...is it just me, or does reading all the comments on this blog over the years stress you guys out a little where it makes you feel like you need to take a little break at times??

Anonymous said...

Yes,
Well said by Leandre...to bad what he said was easily refuted by ML and anon 10:23.

Look,
Presenting sites is great. But as someone said earlier, at some point you've got to put your money where your mouth is. Seriously, in this economy and with the myriad of problems Oakland currently has, do we expect huge public subsidies for a new ballpark? Answer this question as the average citizen of Oakland, not some "Navigator" die hard.

Second,
MLB will want two healthy franchises in the Bay Area, and a situation where the A's are finally taken off the revenue sharing dole. This will only happen by 1) separating the A's and Giants by 50+ miles, 2) placing the A's in the Bay Area's largest and wealthiest city and 3) compensating the Giants for an invasion of "their" territory; i.e. ending the most absurd territorial arrangement in all of sports.

Third,
Attendance (as reported by anon 10:42) speaks for itself; nothing else to say about that.

Lastly,
Simply, Tax Increment Financing will finance infrastructure improvements at San Jose's Diridon South site.

Anonymous said...

"We all thought the ballpark village was going to be his way to pay for a park but we later learned that he has "other" sources...so that means, both the Fremont AND Oakland sites he attempted were going to be funded be himself without any public financing...if he was going to pay for it then with his "other" sources, I'm sure he will do the same now."

Um, not necessarily. How much he will be willing to invest will depend on the projected return. The projected return in Oakland will be substantially less than it would be in San Jose. Consequently, the amount he will be willing to invest will be less.

It's hard enough to get a private ballpark to pencil out under the best of circumstances. The Giants have little margin for error in San Francisco WITHOUT a state-of-the-art ballpark nearby as competition. Bottom line, and I know you don't want to hear it, it's just not going to pencil out in Oakland, especially not with AT&T park right across the bridge. There's a reason why so few owners have been willing to make this gamble.

The pro-Oakland crowd seems to think, "Well, if the A's are willing to spend $500 million in San Jose, they ought to be willing to spend $500 million in Oakland." This is not real life. This is like saying, if someone is willing to pay $1 million for a house in Willow Glen they ought to be willing to pay $1 million for a house in Fruitvale. That's not how economics work.

The bottom line: San Jose offers a better economic opportunity. For Oakland to have any realistic shot at keeping the team, they would have to sweeten the pot to make up for this. This means public funds.

Anonymous said...

"And there's plenty of opportunities to turn the Haggenberger area into something nice over the next few years with some hotels, restaurants and bars."

Sure there is, and according to the Oakland task force, it will only cost a billion dollars or two. It's such an attractive spot with such great potential; that's surely going to happen.

I'll bet you were one of the people whining about the Fremont plan because it supposedly had no ambience.

hamachi said...

back to point:

when and where is this presentation?

where can I find info about it?

has boxer released anything yet? is there a website I can look at?

dan said...

How come the Laney College site scored so low on transportation when it is by the Lake Merritt BART station?

Marine Layer said...

hamachi - These meetings are usually not public affairs. I don't expect the one on the 12th to be any different. It could turn into a circus if it was.

As for site proposals, that's up to the city to provide at its discretion.

hamachi said...

ML: thanks! can't wait for the press leaks at least.

back to the rumor mill I guess

Chris Kidd said...

So I had posted anonymously the glass factory site at the base of Fruitvale earlier. Let me expound on that idea a little more because I think it's really got legs and offers more benefits, less associated costs, and fewer problems that are present for the other two waterfront sites discussed in this thread.

First of all, the site: the enormous parcel of land to the south of Fruitvale Ave, bounded by Alameda Ave along the Oakland Estuary, bounded by Home Depot to the south, and bounded by Elmwood Ave and Boehmer St. to the east.

Let's first compare this site to 029. First of all, it's MUCH larger than the southern section of 029 that the HOK proposed. While 029 only has two freeway exits northbound (Oak St. & 5th ave.) and only one southboud (Jackson), the Fruitvale site has 3 southbound (23rd, Fruitvale, High St) and 2 northbound (29th/Fruitvale and High St.). While 029 is too far from Lake Merrit BART to reasonably assume a large amount of fans walking, Fruitvale BART is only 1/3 of a mile away from the this site.

Let's compare to the site at the port. The costs for relocation of business would be *staggeringly* less. There is TONS of unused industrial land in Oakland that the glass factory could be relocated to. While the existing use of the port site requires access to the water, all the glass factory needs is access to the freeway. Additionally, you wouldn't be dealing with the port of Oakland, or the 25 year contract that was just signed. The Fruitvale site is superior to the port site becausee an infill BART station wouldn't be necesary. Again, it's a third of a mile away from BART.

But really, I've saved the best for last. This entire section of the estuary, from 19th to 54th, is in the midst of a specific plan process. The whole area is going to get rezoned for specific tyeps of development. How it works is an EIR is done that allows certain types of development within the specific plan area. If the proposed development fits within the bounds of the EIR, they get to use that EIR instead of having to write their own (and saving a lot of time/money). For the right to use that EIR, the developer has to pay a per square foot "user fee", and those fees get pooled for use only within the specific plan area. This is a HUGE benefit in multiple ways.
If the ballpark is written into the EIR, that's one enormous advantage over every other site since an EIR would need to be prepared for 029 or the port site. That saves the A's a ton of time and money. Additionally, by having the A's pay out a "user fee" to develop the ballpark within the specific plan area, those user fees can be used to do a ton of infrastructue upgrades, street widenings/reconfigurations, etc. that would be necesary when putting in a new ballpark ANYHOW.

I also think this site would become a MUCH bigger draw than the current Colliseum site. Alamedans would be able to walk/ride their bike to the ballpark, the site would be much closer to all the new residents moving into downtown and JLS, and the Fruitvale is the sunnyest, most protected area of the Oakland waterfront. The weather would be much better and much warmer than either the current Colliseum site or the other two sites farther down the Oakland waterfront.

I mean, what, if any, are the downsides to this site?

SexFlavoredPez said...

Improvements to the Diridon area (Autumn Pkwy widening, redevelopment of sites in Midtown-Sunol, etc.) were planned as long-term projects long before Diridon was mentioned as a potential ballpark site and as such should be seen as seperate from the ballpark. When you also include the changes needed for the HSR project, any improvements made for a ballpark will almost certainly have a benefit for the site and the residents of San Jose. Also, since no one else took the time to look it up...San Jose's deficit will actually DROP this year and is expected to drop for the next 4 years. This is probably why it holds the state's highest credit rating for any city (AAA - AA+). That should come in handy IF the city needs to borrow money to speed up these improvements to coincide with a ballpark.

Anonymous said...

"Who determines "the only way to keep the A's in the Bay Area?" Lew Wolff? Bud Selig? The Mayor of San Jose? Or, is it John Russo, Ron Dellumns, or Barbara Boxer?

You see, that's a very subjective question."

Um, no. Actually it's not even slightly subjective, the answer is: Lew Wolff and Bud Selig. They will have final say. All thee pols can do is try to win the beauty contest and influence the Wolff/Selig decision.

"I happen to think that Oakland is a very viable location for Major League Baseball. I happen to think that the OFD site is viable as well as Howard Terminal and even the Coliseum parking lot."

You happen to think so, but have cited no factual evidence or support for the idea (other than blathering on about the "central location"). It's entirely based on your selfish wish that that happen. I happen to think Jessica Alba would make a very viable mistress for me. Unfortunately, both she and my wife seem to disagree, and even more unfortunately, they are the decisionmakers.

Anonymous said...

I guess we all knows who wears the pants in your relationship anon 11:06.

Oh and you are sadly mistaken if you think those two guys are the ones who determine where the A's will end up. If that was the case, then San Jose would've had the A's years ago buddy. Try and keep up with what's been going on before you think Wolff and Selig are the Gods of MLB.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:11-- if you think that politicians that serve the entire bay area (not just Oakland or SF) will influence the location of a ballpark for the A's you are sadly mistaken--

At the end of the day LW will control, working with his ownership group, where he will choose to invest his/their money--return on investment are the key words here--

So at the end of the day--LW will control the process for the A's--and looking for Bud to help him navigate it to SJ---if their efforts don't put them in SJ--than LW is still in control--selling the franchise to the highest bidder--which more than likely will not be an owner that picks to stay in Oakland

Marine Layer said...

Chris Kidd, I love your work on "A Better Oakland." I have to admit I'm not terribly familiar with that part of the Estuary. I can certainly mockup a 3D model on the glass factory site, if you're willing to provide the text.

My only issue with the site is parking. The site covers 26 acres, half of which would go to the ballpark and the other half for parking. Additional land would have to be acquired to cover the 10,000-space requirement. Home Depot is also next door, right? While I don't think the situation would be as bad as the Lowe's/Costco/Kohl's problem in Fremont, I'd expect Home Depot to protest a bit.

Anonymous said...

"Oh and you are sadly mistaken if you think those two guys are the ones who determine where the A's will end up."

And you are flat out crazy if you think they aren't. As a private business owner Wolff is generally entitled to locate his business where he wants. Because MLB is a special kind of business which happens to have an antitrust exemption, he does also need the blessing of the league. Technically that means approval of 3/4 of the owners as well as Selig, but there is every reason to think if Bud recommends it they will back him up.

"If that was the case, then San Jose would've had the A's years ago buddy."

Glad to hear you agree that this is the most logical and economically place for them to be.

"Try and keep up with what's been going on before you think Wolff and Selig are the Gods of MLB."

Um, I don't think I'm the one who needs to keep up with the news. Selig has indicated his willingness to revisit this issue. Your tin foil hat cronies are all howling that the Blue Ribbon Commission is just a setup designed to justify the inevitable move down the road. In the end, you can't fight the free market (unless, of course, you're willing to pay a huge ransom in public funds).

Chris Kidd said...

Marine Layer,

If the primary stumbling block is finding *additional* parking, then I'd have to say the Fruitvale option is already head and shoulders above the 029 or port of Oakland options. There is, of course, a TON of parking in and around the Fruitvale BART station. The parking structure and the lot along E 12th provide existant parking. For new parking, the city could get UP to surrender their right-of-way rights (pipe dream, I know) leading up to the Fruitvale bridge after it branches for the Glascock spur for more parking. There are also multiple under-utilized lots along Alameda Ave an High St. which could be converted to parking. Clearly, assistance from the city would be needed, but it is doable.
I know there would be some blowback from Home Depot, but really: F Home Depot. I would love to see that big box space-waster to hit the road. I live in the area and I've never seen their parking lots even at half capacity. Boo-hoo for them.
What's more, I'd love to see the A's blaze new trails in developing a ballpark centered around mass transit and not around car parking. And would a smaller stadium (33,000 or so) really need upwards of 10K parking spots?

Chris Kidd said...

p.s. thanks for the shout-out, ML.

I should have something up later this week about Oakland's residential zoning update. Good times!

LeAndre said...

"if LW is going to invest any of his own money he should get to choose where to invest those dollars--if MLB says it has to be Oakland--and Oakland is not willing to subsidize the deal---than LW will no longer be the owner and the A's will no longer be in the Bay Area---end of story--dream all you want--but that is reality--"

Wolff is choosing where to invest his money, which is why he has been meeting with Oakland officials weekly...and the whole notion that Oakland HAS to sweeten the deal with taxes because SJ gives the impression that it could gain more profit has no rhetoric behind it...Wolff already tried to build a stadium in Oakland and Fremont without asking for tax compensation, and you could easily argue over the net profit from those sites to SJ...Owners can only can only gain profit from where they can build...Also, Wolff and the future of the A's if the city of Oakland fail to present a site and T-Rights for SJ are still up, are a matter of opinion, the only one doing the dreaming is you because there is no rhetoric behind that statement...

"Last, Cisco has made no such proclamation that they would retain naming rights in Oakland--they supported Fremont and they have indicated support for San Jose--nothing has been committed to Oakland--"

"Cisco has vowed to continue its partnership with the team."...I've also read in an interview with John Chambers in which he was asked specifically if they would continue the partner with the A's if the would stay and Oakland and he said yes, as well as anywhere else in the Bay Area...However I can't find the link, but the one above still gives you an idea of the partnership with the A's...Cisco is a Bay Area company, not just a South Bay company, there logo after all is the GG Bridge...

"Any money coming from any municipality will be in the form of infrastructure funding. The question is for each municipality is, "Does it work for the general public?" There's an easy case to be made in SJ for that because of HSR. In Oakland it's a tougher sell."

Tougher?...maybe, but still achievable. Oakland has infrastructure funding coming in as well...both SJ and Oakland are going to have a tiff over that obstacle.

"Well said by Leandre...to bad what he said was easily refuted by ML and anon 10:23."

Nothing was refuted...just an exchange of opinions...nice try though...

Anonymous said...

AGAIN...very well said LeAndre, I couldn't have said it better myself!!

And I'll back you up regarding Cisco's partnership. I also remember reading the same article where they did indicate that they would still very much be on board as long as the team stayed in the BAY AREA.

Anonymous said...

"Wolff is choosing where to invest his money, which is why he has been meeting with Oakland officials weekly"

No, he's meeting with Oakland officials weekly because Selig made him. Wolff made it quite clear he was done with Oakland and saw no point in discussions, but Selig signaled that if the Blue Ribbon Commission determines, yes, the A's gave it their best shot and and East Bay site was not feasible, San Jose may be on the table. Wolff knows it's a pointless exercise, but is going along with the process as a necessary step toward his ultimate goal.

"...and the whole notion that Oakland HAS to sweeten the deal with taxes because SJ gives the impression that it could gain more profit has no rhetoric behind it"

I don't know what "no rhetoric behind it means," but it is simple logic. Given a business decision between Option A earning x dollars and Option B earning 2x or 3x dollars, any rational businessman will choose Option B (particularly if those dollars are needed to service a $500 million debt). The only way Option A becomes viable is if something else makes up the difference.

"...Wolff already tried to build a stadium in Oakland and Fremont without asking for tax compensation,"

Well, he clearly tried to build in Fremont without public funds. Many of the "Oakland-only" crowd have questioned whether he made a sincere effort in Oakland. They call this supposed non-effort a "conspiracy" (which I guess sounds more sinister than "rational business decision.")

"and you could easily argue over the net profit from those sites to SJ."

Um, no. First of all, Fremont does not equal Oakland. The whole point of Fremont was to tap into Santa Clara County without having to fight the T-rights battle. Some would argue that Fremont had close to the same profit potential as San Jose, but no rational, objective observers are arguing that Oakland has the same profit potential as San Jose.

Anonymous said...

Leandre,
Your starting to sound a lot like Navigator. And no, Cisco isn't going to Oakland because, being blunt, Wolff doesn't want to be in Oakland. The fact that their logo represents the GG Bridge has no relevance whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

What the heck are you guys talking about?? If any of you research Cisco field and the naming rights deal, it clearly states that they signed a 30 year deal as long as the team stays in the BAY AREA. Not in San Jose and not where ever Lew Wolff wants his team to play.

Anonymous said...

If the Cisco wanted to represent Santa Clara county, then why would they choose the GG bridge as their logo?? They obviously did that to represent the Bay Area. Do any of you South Bay residents even know what the GGB even represents and why it's a Bay Area icon??

LeAndre said...

Anon 8:27,
How am I sounding like Navigator?! Because I think the A's still have a chance to stay in Oakland? That's ridiculous! No offense to Nav, but my opinion is my own, some of you SJ partisans need to stop trying to lump everyone who thinks a ballpark in Oakland is not a bad idea together. Its stupid and immature.

"No, he's meeting with Oakland officials weekly because Selig made him."

Um...your opinion Anon. Not a fact. Saying that is no more of a conspiracy than what you claim Oakland partisans make about Wolff...and yes Wolff has made it clear in the past he doesn't want part in Oakland anymore, just like he said about SJ, and Fremont. Wolff has changed his opinion over and over we all know this, and its clear he's done it again, hence the Oakland meetings. Rather if you believe they're legit or not is YOUR opinion not fact, so get it straight and stop acting like you know what Wolff is thinking because none of us do.

"Well, he clearly tried to build in Fremont without public funds. Many of the "Oakland-only" crowd have questioned whether he made a sincere effort in Oakland. They call this supposed non-effort a "conspiracy" (which I guess sounds more sinister than "rational business decision.")"

AGAIN, your opinion. Not fact. Only this time you use your opinion off someone else's "conspiracy". That is completely insane. The fact is Wolff did try and build a stadium in Oakland and wouldn't have done so if he thought he couldn't make a profit from it. Period!

"Fremont does not equal Oakland. The whole point of Fremont was to tap into Santa Clara County without having to fight the T-rights battle. Some would argue that Fremont had close to the same profit potential as San Jose, but no rational, objective observers are arguing that Oakland has the same profit potential as San Jose."

I agree on you about Wolff attempting Fremont because he couldn't get into Santa Clara County and tapping into SV. But if you think that SV is the center of where Wolff wants to be than it should be more than obvious to you that Fremont would not have the same potential that a site in SJ would have corporately...Wolff has to settle for where he is allowed to build so that means he might not get as much corporate money as he would like. Business men make sacrifices like that all the time. He might not get as much profit in certain areas as others but he has to settle for what he can get, there has been way too much time and money spent on this thing to think this is all one big charade...The MLB along with Wolff want this thing to be over with as soon as possible and they're main goal is to get a stadium built, which will make money no matter where it is built in the Bay Area.

IMHO, If both Wolff and Oakland sincerely tried their best and still couldn't get anything done than, I like SJ over anywhere else outside the East Bay...But like I said, as of now T-Rights are still up and Oakland and the MLB are trying to get something done, I don't know about you guys but I want a ballpark for the A's and presentation is about to happen, something we haven't seen in years. Forgive me if I'm excited.

Oh, and the whole point about the GG Bridge and Cisco was just addition to me saying Cisco is a Bay Area company, not just a South Bay company...And Cisco will stick with they're part of the deal if they move to Oakland like they said, you really think they're going to bypass a chance for their name to be mention constantly at an Allstar Game, don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:42 and 10:44---no doubt Cisco is a Bay Area company--guess what--they are a global company---with its headquarters located in the city of San Jose. Their logo isn't intended to reference geographic location.

Cisco also has a new business focus on enhancing the game day experience of fans throughout all ballparks, stadiums and arenas using its technology---a money making venture. Their partnership with the A's was an opportunity to increase their exposure within this new business opportunity--it was a near term offer in a new fledging market for them.

If/when Oakland was able to get its act together and build a stadium in Oakland Cisco would promote their technology within the stadium--but it does not include naming rights--their comments were directed towards a relationship with LW--who as you recall--has no intention of building in the city of Oakland.

You will see the Cisco name on the new Earthquakes stadium or on HP Pavillion before you ever see it show up on a ballpark in Oakland.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe anyone is obtuse enough to bring the Cisco logo into the discussion as if it had any bearing on anything at all. My goodness.

Navigator said...

CISCO is derived from San Francisco.

Also, if CISCO is so uptight about Oakland, maybe Kaiser Yards or Clorox Field would do.

Anonymous said...

Nav--whats your source on the Cisco name? Please publish it--good luck being able to provide support for that claim---

Any reason why Clorox hasn't bought the naming rights at the current stadium? Because once your done with Clorox there are no more Fortune 500 companies in the city of Oakland--

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on cracking that secret code, Navigator. Here's your cookie.