ONN – Oakland A’s Ballpark At Jack London Square Update Before May 13th Port Meeting
Oakland A’s Ballpark At Jack London Square Update Before May 13th Port Meeting
This is a livestream talk about the planned “Oakland Ballpark At Jack London Square” and which includes a history of the project that goes back to the return of the Oakland Raiders to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1995 and first full NFL season in 1996. The owners of the Oakland Athletics were not pleased with the football-oriented redesign of the Oakland Coliseum, and established talks to move the team to Sacramento – that did not happen.
Eventually, the seeds of what became Oakland Ballpark At Jack London Square were planted when Howard Terminal was presented as one of seven possible sites for a new baseball stadium for the A’s to keep them in Oakland in 2000 (and thanks to a baseball site study financed by then-Oakland City Attorney John Russo). The top candidate site, called Uptown Oakland, was not favored by then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.
Here’s what that site would have looked like:
In 2002, Brown fired then-City Administrator Robert Bobb (my boss as I was economic development consultant from 1999 to 2001) simply for his work in trying to get the project off the ground. Brown wanted housing, and gave Forest City a $70 million sweetheart deal that guaranteed profits for that developer. What’s there now is an unexciting set of apartments.
Out of a complex set of encounters (including the “Choose or Loose The A’s Fan Campaign” and the development of the idea of something called “Coliseum City”) came Howard Terminal, the site favored by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf when she became Oakland’s 50th Mayor in 2014.
All it took was a competent baseball executive who could champion the project, and that person was hired by the A’s, and is Dave Kaval, the team president.
Important Port of Oakland Meeting Monday, May 13th 2019
Now, comes a pivotal meeting at the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners at 1:30 PM May 13th. Hopefully, the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners approves the project, and for many of the same reasons of sound economic development that are why the Mayor of Oakland should support the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal.
Resolution: Approve and Authorize the Executive Director to Execute an Exclusive Negotiation Term Sheet with Athletics Investment Group LLC, dba the Oakland Athletics, a California Limited Liability Company, for a Term of Four Years for an Initial Payment of $100,000 for Property Located at 1 Market Street, Oakland (Not a Project under the California Environmental Quality Act [CEQA]) (CRE)
It’s the only item on the Port of Oakland agenda for this Monday.
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