Howard Terminal Ballpark Project Update: Oakland Upgrades Term Sheet, But A’s Las Vegas Option Alive

Howard Terminal Ballpark Project Update: Oakland Upgrades Term Sheet, But A’s Las Vegas Option Alive

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Oakland News Now – Howard Terminal Ballpark Project Update: Oakland Upgrades Term Sheet, But A’s Las Vegas Option Alive – video made by the YouTube channel in the video’s upper left hand corner.

The City of Oakland released a new version of the Howard Terminal Ballpark Project term sheet that was originally introduced July 20th. This version reflect the work of the City Staff and the A’s Staff and Consultants, and was released 24 hours ago. The news might make one jump for joy and think that all that’s needed is the completed and signed development agreement, but there’s one problem: the Oakland A’s have not officially announced they’re not focused on Las Vegas, and their architect is still hard at work on a design for Sin City.

That said, let’s take a look at brief look the new City of Oakland / Oakland A’s / Howard Terminal Term Sheet.

Howard Terminal Ballpark Term Sheet Main Points

Howard Terminal Ballpark Project Costs: The A’s will privately finance the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Ballpark.

Onsite Infrastructure: The A’s will pay upfront costs of all onsite infrastructure, such as roads, sewer, water, and electrical lines, as well as affordable housing, parks and open space.

Howard Terminal Ballpark Project Infrastructure Financing District (IFD): The City (and Alameda County, if the County Board of Supervisors decides to opt-in) will establish a single IFD covering only the Howard Terminal site. An IFD is a financial tool that allows the City (and County) to invest their “but for” or net-new property taxes, which would not exist “but for” the project, in infrastructure, public open space, and affordable housing. Up to 80% of the IFD proceeds would be used to reimburse the A’s for their upfront investment in onsite infrastructure . The remaining 20% of the IFD proceeds would be dedicated to implementing displacement prevention strategies offsite.

Offsite Transportation Infrastructure Investment: The total projected costs of offsite transportation improvements is approximately $352 million. This infrastructure investment will catalyze long-needed improvements in the Jack London District, Downtown, Chinatown, Old Oakland and West Oakland, and facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods around and to the waterfront. The A’s will not be responsible for these costs but will work actively with the City to pursue local, regional, state, federal and other funds to cover these costs.

Vested Rights: The A’s will have vested rights to develop the project as set forth in the Development Agreement and other project approvals for the full term of the Development Agreement. During this period, the City cannot limit, change or delay the project or increase Developer obligations. There are exceptions for public health, and to implement new federal or state laws, building and fire codes, or City infrastructure standards.

Timing: The Development Agreement will have a term of 35 years. Construction on the Ballpark must start by 2025 or no more than 4 years after any litigation is resolved, but in any event no later than 2028.

Non-Relocation Agreement: The A’s must remain in Oakland for 25 years from the date they play the first game in the new Ballpark. If they leave, even after 25 years, they must cover outstanding debt service on any public debt associated with the project.

Port Turning Basin: In its agreement with the A’s, the Port has reserved certain portions of the project site for a potential future expansion of the Inner Harbor Turning Basin. If the Port exercises those rights, the Development Agreement would terminate as to those lands reclaimed by the Port.

Affordable Housing: The Howard Terminal Ballpark Project will target 35% affordability, using onsite and offsite strategies. Onsite, 15% of units will be affordable. Offsite, a $50 million fund will be established to implement strategies to prevent existing residents in the area from being displaced due to rising housing costs. The fund will support a combination of newly constructed units, preserved units, renovated units, and down payment assistance, targeting a total of 20% of the 3,000 onsite units (or 600 units). The project will also provide anti-displacement tenant services in the four impacted neighborhoods.

  • Jobs: The Project is in Port of Oakland jurisdiction. The Port’s jobs policies will apply in lieu of the City’s. Specifically, all project-related construction jobs will be subject to the Port’s Maritime Aviation Project Labor Agreement (MAPLA). For operational jobs, the Port will require an operational jobs policy based on the 2017 “Operations Jobs Policy for the Centerpoint Oakland Global Logistics Project”. This includes living wages and benefits for workers; priority consideration for unemployed individuals, armed forces veterans, single parents, ex-offenders and foster care adults; and a ban on asking applicants about prior criminal offenses.
  • Community Fund: A Community Fund will be established and maintained over the full 66-year life of the A’s lease with the Port. The fund will consist of a number of revenue sources, including the Port’s Social Justice Trust Fund for workforce development, a set-aside from the IFD for offsite anti-displacement strategies, a 0.75% transfer fee on condominium sales on the project site, and payments in lieu of the Developer’s transportation impact fees. It is anticipated that the fund will be managed through a collaborative process between City, Port, and community stakeholders to support a number of community priorities set forth in the project’s Community Benefits Recommendations Summary Report (https://cao-94612.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/FINAL_062521-HT-CBA-Recommendations-Final-Report-1.pdf).
  • Community Oversight: The City Administrator, in coordination with the City Attorney, will analyze how a community oversight body, including members of engaged coalitions and community organizations, can be established to ensure that community benefits included in any future Development Agreement are implemented and enforceable.

Open space map
  • Project Phasing: The Ballpark must be included in the first phase, but as master developer, the A’s may determine the order of all other development. Parks and open spaces–including Athletics Way, Rooftop Park and Waterfront Park “A”–must be built with the Ballpark. Stomper Plaza must be completed with Block 5 and Waterfront Park “C” must be completed with Block 7. Other park phasing requirements will be established in the Development Agreement.

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A Great Improvement In The Howard Terminal Ballpark Project Term Sheet That The A’s And MLB Should Approve

The inclusion of affordable housing at the 35 percent rate is a big deal as is the A’s agreement to pay for it up front.  The Community Benefits matter is still outstanding, and reflects the City of Oakland’s project consultant’s idea that a “pay-as-you-go” strategy where tax increment money is spent down the road is the best approach.   That’s Wrongway Feldman-type stuff.

The right approach is to cost-out the community benefits, then fashion them into an area plan, which forms the basis for a bond issue to pay for its implementation.   There’s $1.6 billion in tax increment financing revenue that can be gained (assuming $2 billion base-year assessed value, 4 percent rate of growth in assessed value annually, and 45 -year TIF revenue collection period).   From that, a $800 million bond issue can be created.  That can include the $600 million to the A’s and the $200 million for the community plan.  That plan, in turn, is based on the over-year-long set of community meetings that produced elements that should have been formed into a kind of publicly available book, by now.

In closing, the best news of all would be if Major League Baseball jettisoned the Las Vegas move talk, and got behind what the City of Oakland has done.   It would be welcome news in what has been a hard year for everyone.

Stay tuned.

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