Oakland Howard Terminal Ballpark

Mayor Of Oakland – Oakland CAO Letter To Alameda County On Howard Terminal Ballpark Revenues To County

Zennie62Media requested and was exclusively sent the letter and document below which arrived just 30 minutes ago, and for presentation to you. It rests as a follow-up to my interview with Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, where Miley said that the City of Oakland had not shared any revenue numbers from the planned Howard Terminal Ballpark Infrastructure District.

The letter by Oakland City Administrator Ed Reiskin shows that Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi just received the Howard Terminal Revenue estimates from the City of Oakland last May 24th, 2021. In defense of Supervisor Nate Miley, this is something the County of Alameda should have been presented with last year; indeed, I’ve had tax increment financing revenue estimates for Howard Terminal as far back as 2017, and the Gruen + Gruen Study of 2010 has tax increment financing revenue estimates for a ballpark at Jack London Square. But, I digress.

The important part of what you’re about to read is here:

An investment in the Waterfront Ballpark District over the project site only would repay the County many times over. By helping make this project possible, at full buildout, the County will see its current $50,000 per year recurring tax revenues from the project site increase to an estimated $6.3 million per year, after property taxes and property taxes in lieu of VLF are contributed to the EIFD. This amount includes $2.3 million each in new annual funds for provision of County essential health care and homeless services. In addition, after the County opts in, the project will create an additional $4.6 million per year in new countywide transportation funding through the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Finally, the County is expected to receive an estimated $47.8 million in one-time construction-period tax revenues. After the 45-year opt-in period, new annual revenues to the County would increase to approximately $17 million.

Here’s the entire letter from Ed Reiskin, Oakland City Administrator, who was appointed by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf in 2019.

CITY OF OAKLAND
CITY HALL • 1 FRANK H. OGAWA PLAZA • OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA 94612
Office of the City Administrator
Edward D. Reiskin
City Administrator

(510) 238-3301
FAX (510) 238-2223
TDD (510) 238-3254

May 24, 2021
Susan S. Muranishi
1221 Oak Street, Room 555,
Oakland, CA 94612
via email
Dear County Administrator Muranishi:

I am writing to invite the County of Alameda to join the City of Oakland and the Oakland Athletics in realizing a bold vision for our joint future – the Waterfront Ballpark District at Howard Terminal. This completely new urban neighborhood will keep the A’s “rooted in Oakland” – and Alameda County – for years to come, while also preserving our working waterfront, creating over 18 acres of new, publicly-accessible waterfront parks, and 3,000 units of critically-needed new housing units for the region, as well as commercial, entertainment and retail space. In addition, the project will provide a comprehensive package of community benefits, including new affordable housing on-site, a significant anti-displacement fund for use off-site, and thousands of new skilled jobs that pay prevailing and living wages.

Like most projects of this sort, the Waterfront Ballpark District requires a public-private partnership to be economically feasible. To this end, the City of Oakland will need to establish an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) over the Howard Terminal site. Operating similarly to Redevelopment before its sunset in 2012, an EIFD allows participating taxing entities to contribute some of their new, “but for” taxes – specifically, the incremental property taxes created by new development – to pay for project-related infrastructure, open space and affordable housing over a period of 45 years. These are tax dollars that will only exist as a result of the overall development moving forward. Our ask of you today – please seek authorization from the Board of Supervisors for the County to join the City of Oakland by “opting in” to the EIFD and contributing the County’s property tax increment to help fund affordable housing and new open space on the Oakland Estuary.

An investment in the Waterfront Ballpark District over the project site only would repay the County many times over. By helping make this project possible, at full buildout, the County will see its current $50,000 per year recurring tax revenues from the project site increase to an estimated $6.3 million per year, after property taxes and property taxes in lieu of VLF are
1

Page 2
Susan Muranishi
May 24, 2021

contributed to the EIFD. This amount includes $2.3 million each in new annual funds for provision of County essential health care and homeless services. In addition, after the County opts in, the project will create an additional $4.6 million per year in new countywide transportation funding through the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Finally, the County is expected to receive an estimated $47.8 million in one-time construction-period tax revenues. After the 45-year opt-in period, new annual revenues to the County would increase to approximately $17 million (measured in today’s dollars).

Without the County’s participation, the State, the County and the City is very likely to lose all ballpark related tax revenues, as Major League Baseball has directed the A’s to commence relocation talks out of state.
Attached to this letter, please find the following EIFD documentation for your further review and consideration:

PFM Financial Advisors’ summary of EIFDs
Century Urban’s preliminary projection of fiscal benefits to the County

As you get to know more about this project, I am certain you will find it as compelling as we do. I invite you to study the attached materials and reach out to me or Assistant City Administrator Betsy Lake with any questions or requests for more information. We stand ready to work with you and your staff to bring an item to the Board for their consideration. Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we seek to work with the County as expeditiously as possible to secure approval.

I will follow up with you to discuss.
Sincerely,

Edward D. Reiskin
City Administrator
Attachments (2)
cc:

Mayor Libby Schaaf
Oakland City Council

Enhanced Infrastructure Financing
Districts
City of Oakland
County of Alameda
State of California
Robert Gamble, Managing Director, PFM Financial Advisors LLC
May 14, 2021
PFM Financial Advisors LLC
Public Financial Management

UPDATE: PFM Document Appears To Leave Out Base-Year Property Tax Revenue

The main problem in the report is the base-year-assessed value should generate an annual tax revenue that’s collected. Then, the increment growth is taxed and collected by the “redevelopment agency”, unless the taxing agency agrees to give up all of its annual base-year assessed value. If that’s not happening here, the ability of the entire project to generate sufficient infrastructure development revenue is severely hampered.

Also, does County of Alameda keep annual base year assessed value while the “redevelopment agency” gets tax increment revenue? If so that needs to be spelled out in the documents. The County should be given the option of adding its money in as investment, which in turn would remove the problem of having to wait for the revenue pool to grow. Right now, there are two tracks presented, and after looking at the few other similar projects in California, I am starting to believe it’s a problem borne of the way the basic Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) legislation was written.

That issue, and many more, are why the City of Oakland should have started this process last year, and has to have talks with not just the County of Alameda, but BART, AC Transit, EBMUD, and the school district. See, the school district will be impacted by this as well (even if PFM says otherwise), and because it may want to have targeted investments itself, so it should be at the table.

Anticipated Development
Anticipated Development

Regarding the Oakland A’s side of the Howard Terminal Ballpark Plan Issue, the main problem is that the PFM document does not explain, from a development standpoint, who is building what – and the A’s don’t help here either in the Draft Environmental Impact Report. It looks to me like the A’s want the land rights but are they bringing in sub-developers and intend to serve as master developer? For example, they’re not hotel developers: which hotel brand is partnered with the A’s to make that happen? As you can see, the A’s write that the proposed land uses to the “rear” of the ballpark are “subject to change”. The reason’s not hard to figure out: as of now, the Oakland Athletics don’t have a specific developer in mind, and so are ready to adjust the plan to accommodate one. That places the Oakland Athletics in the position of master developer of the site.

Full document below contains Public Financial Management Presentation and Mayor of Oakland’s letter.

Mayor of Oakland Letter to … by Zennie Abraham

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