OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: A Question for Oakland residents about Uptown
I,like probably everyone else with OAFC,think that the Uptown site would be a great place for a ballpark. I know that the city council is supposed to vote for final approval of the Forrest City deal in the next week or so. I'm just curious to know how many of You who are Oakland residents have questioned the city council about this "deal".I have no doubt that a lot of You have. Just putting the ballpark issue aside for a moment,this Forrest City deal is nothing short of robbery. 60.8 million dollars given up by the city of oakland for a project with tooooo many maybes,and no guarentees. I read the stories in the Trib in tha last coupla weeks,and never seen the word IF so many times.
I can only speak for myself and say that I attended numerous city council meetings when the ballpark and Forrest City were being discussed, and in fact had an article published regarding Forrest City. You are correct that it is a complete rip-off, but at some point we cut our losses to focus elsewhere, because it is clear that Jerry Brown is using every ounce of his political power to make this deal happen. The fact that we sold Preservation Park for a pittance just to fund Forrest City infuriates me. So yes, I am one Oakland resident that has vehemently opposed it, but not so much recently as when the whole debacle was developing.
It makes no since to use public funds to subsidize a market rate housing project, developed by an out of state private company. Especially in a region where housing costs continue to rise through the roof, this isnt Detroit where inner city housing prices have stagnated. Its just a bad investment, spend the money on something thats going to spur some type of development, and keep the devlopers local that way you keep the wealth in your community not ship it off to Cleveland Ohio where Forrest City hails. This is a civic rip-off of the worst degree, Forrest Cities will make the profit while Oakland foots a large part of the bill. Even if you dont agree with the ballpark concept, it makes better sense to develop something that will spur retail development, that way you can improve the sales tax base. This is the Mayor's pet project and when it flops he will be out of office, hopefully not our Attorney General. I thought Brown was smarter than that.
Gold - I'm sorry to say I forget exactly who bought Preservation Park . . . I seem to remember it was a Japanese company but I could be completely wrong on that. I do know that I was shocked at how little it sold for - something like $6M?
Hey Goldtymer, I hunted down the info and Preservation Park was sold in February 2004 to the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation for $6.5 million. So my memory wasn't too bad.
I watched the city council meeting last Tuesday and on the topic of the forrest city plan, there was this man who was a pro in architecture or retail business, don't know what really he was, but he said that downtown Oakland doesn't feel like it's working correctly.
Thank You for the great responses.
bparkjamo, if this project goes through; the person mainly responsible for it is Jerry Brown and he'll be long gone when it's finally finished. He'll be somewhere in Sacto, probably as the attorney genreal because that's the rumor being thrown about.
Jerry Brown was on the Pete Wilson show on KGO on Tuesday afternoon. When Pete asked him about the restoration of the FOX theatre, Jerry went into a diatribe about the development of housing and then threw out some mind bogling numbers for the cost in turning the FOX into a full caberet theatre. I personally feel that having a ballpark next to the theatre would be the only way it would work. If a ballpark were to be built, then other buisnesses of entertainment and resturaunts would be built turning the neighborhood into an attraction. A safe, well taxed, attraction. Without a ballpark the FOX would probably do ok to begin with. But my hunch is with the cost, and the neighborhood's inability to give people variety before and after a show, the theatre would revert back to being a wonderful piece of nostalgia that is seldom used. I think Jerry Brown is a brilliant man and I know his intentions are good. In my shallow oppinion he's missing the boat in revitalizing a whole downtown area that would have national exposure. I don't think the city of Oakland should do the heavy lifting in financing the project, but at least be proactive in finding someone to do so. ie Lewis Wollf, someone who made his fortune building hotels.
jenmed, thank you for the info. In my mind, preservation park was worth more.
hey GT, did they ever serve 'feijoada' in that little Brazilian place?
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