wolf has stadium plans: looks like colisiuem site is scraped
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| By jerryo1 on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 01:29 pm:|
What do the last two posts have to do with each other?
| By simplefan on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 01:50 pm:|
*rubbing eyes* Dam double vision
| By oaktownfan on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 02:29 am:|
Guess the parking lot site is the frontrunner again.
I can't find the link to Monday's cityside section of the trib but it looks like the forrest city plan isn't dead like I posted a few weeks ago.
I seems to me this article is not up to date and it really doesn't talk about the site being scratched and then reconsidered by the Wolf group.
The linked article doesn't mention that Wolf has dispensed the Oakland group's help and formed his own ballpark group headed by his son, Mike Crowley and Jerry Reinsdorf's son.
As for the Forrest City project, I haven't heard anything since the last comments by Matier and Ross.
Here is another intersting note regarding the sudden need for more revenue with Forrest Cities Uptown project.
Last month the courts awarded the SF redevelopment agency a 3,000,000+ settlement to be paid by the developers of the new Bloomingdales project. Seems the developer was a little overzealous in their demolition of the existing building on the site (the old Emporium facade along Market Street). Now who is the developer of that SF project? Forrest Cities. Now all of a sudden they need more money for environemental clean up of their Oakland project, sounds kind of fishy. Why doesn't Oakland just eliminate the middle man and pay the fine for Forrest City directly to SF Redevelopment.
meanwhile, for the sake of keeping an eye on land developers in the East Bay:
| By jeffreyb on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 06:05 am:|
There WAS an update in the Oak Trib on Monday, and the Uptown project is moving forward. Last week the planning commission approved the developers plans:
| By oaktownfan on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 08:58 am:|
jeffreyb, that was the article I couldn't find.
If it isn't the uptown site, then even if a waterfront site is more expensive than the colisum site, I think it's well worth it.
I think Uptown's development is a blessing in disguise of sorts. It'll force the A's, East Bay politicians, and fans to focus on other potential sites instead of holding out hope that Forest City's deal would collapse, which isn't exactly a winning strategy when you consider the politics involved. I'm certain that Wolff was already aware of this since he's developed in numerous downtowns and is adept at wading through the political muck, but it's time that we did as well.
| By bparkjamo on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 12:30 pm:|
Pity that the Uptown development is going foward.
It looks like the plan is scaled back some,though the city's contribution has not.
It's still a rip off,with Forrest city not paying rent unless and until they achieve a 12 percent profit.
Oakland's total contribution has already grown to 65 million,and You can bet that amount will only go up.
Chances are 50/50 at best that You will see Uptown
Would anyone happen to know where the alternate site near Uptown is exactly?
There is no alternate site _near_ Uptown that I'm aware of. Just from looking at the landscape, there aren't any parcels of the right size or many that could be easily put together to make for a good ballpark site.
West Oakland near the BART station is slated for a Fruitvale-style transit village, with negotiations for land acquisition ongoing. Near the old Wood Street rail depot, a similar concept is being conceived.
The Army Base first has a lot of red tape to go through, but it might have potential. Not everything there is usable. Go too far north and you're next door to the sewage treatment plant. South is better because it's close to BART, but some of it is scheduled to be converted back to wetlands, including the area near Middle Harbor Park.
The Estuary is the only one I can see in Oakland that has nearly-immediate possibilities, but it has plenty of issues as well.
ChrisD and I saw a ballpark drawing shown to us by DLF way back when the Uptown site was being hyped up by Robert Bobb and Rosie Rios.
The drawing we saw was in a small area very near the freeway and if I'm not mistaken, very close to the bus station near 20th?
Maybe Chris can describe the area better than I can since I'm not very familiar with that area.
But I don't have a clue if that is being considered since I never heard of that area again. I remember it involved disappropriation and it looked miniscule to fit a ballpark.
| By bparkjamo on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 05:16 pm:|
Thanks for the info.
If Chris or someone else can elaborate,that would be great.
| By eyleenn on Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 05:32 pm:|
I read something recently (I think it was a letter to the Times) suggesting that the Concord Naval Weapons Station would be a good spot for a ballpark. I imagine there would be a lot of cleanup there as well.
Here's a column by Neil Hayes on Wolff's latest efforts. Hayes seems to favor Emeryville.
Posted on Sun, Jun. 05, 2005
NEIL HAYES: TIMES COLUMNIST
Committee of one makes its pitch
New A's owner Lew Wolff recently announced that a three-person committee formed to explore options for a new ballpark will be sent on a fact-finding tour of top sports facilities throughout the country.
Sounds like fun. Mind if anyone else tags along?
Team president Mike Crowley, Wolff's son Keith and A's vice president of stadium operations David Rinetti will head out on what sounds more like an extended guys weekend (by calling it a "fact-finding trip" they can write off the beer and peanuts) with stops planned in Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle but they aren't the only ones with opinions about where and what the A's new stadium should be.
Wolff said in a statement that the team is starting off with a "blank canvas," which means he can use as many people with paint buckets and extension ladders as he can get. This is going to be a tough sell, after all, given Oakland is still buried in debt from the Warriors' and Raiders' deals.
There's nothing wrong with looking beyond Oakland, either. The A's aren't solely an Oakland team and never have been. They are an East Bay team and that should be the emphasis of any new stadium project.
The Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League called Emeryville home for 42 years and it remains an intriguing possibility today because of its accessibility, bayside location and views of the San Francisco skyline.
Plus, it would be an in-your-face swipe at the Giants that would fuel the geographic rivalry that only reinforces the team's underdog identity.
It would be ironic, that's for sure. The Giants and commissioner Bud Selig keep insisting that the rights to San Jose belong to the Giants. So instead of the A's being in San Jose, 50 miles from San Francisco, they build it at the foot of the Bay Bridge, just 41/2 miles from McCovey Cove.
Any new ballpark must be unique and create a synergy between the team and the community it serves no matter where it's located. That has been the formula at the successful new ballparks committee members will be touring.
In this case, the community is the entire East Bay, not just Oakland, because the team draws fans from the entire region.
The East Bay has such a rich baseball heritage. The new stadium should celebrate not only Oakland baseball history and hometown players such as Frank Robinson, Curt Flood, Joe Morgan, Rickey Henderson, Vada Pinson Lloyd Moseby and Dave Stewart but such East Bay products as Billy Martin, Joe DiMaggio, Dale Sveum, Willie McGee, Tom Candiotti, Jimmy Rollins and Dontrelle Willis.
The Oaks were one of the original Pacific Coast League teams and were named after the native oak trees common in the area. Teams have done many creative things to differentiate their ballparks during the recent boom but there's something new. Why not line the grandstand with majestic oaks that would filter sunlight and even shade parts of the grandstand? That would be unique.
The East Bay's sunny skies and temperate climate could make for the best bleacher environment west of Wrigley Field. A cool, comfortable bleacher environment should be one of the signatures of any new ballpark.
Kids are the lifeblood of the game and a new ballpark must be kid-friendly. Maybe there could be a picnic area under the bleachers like there used to be in old Comiskey Park to host Little League parties and school groups. The kids could watch the game through a window in the left-field wall.
There could be a Charlie O's old-fashioned carnival midway under the right-field bleachers. The team could acquire memorabilia from Neptune Beach, the former popular beach resort and amusement park in nearby Alameda, to give it historical authenticity. Fans could learn about former owner Charlie O. Finley and then try to knock over milk bottles with orange baseballs.
The possibilities are endless. Imagine, Rollie Fingers' Barbershop, Catfish Hunter's Seafood Grotto and Billy's Beanery, which could serve three-alarm chili ... OK, OK, Billy's Beanery is a bad idea. Strike that.
Imagine an old-fashioned nautical theme, a tribute to the Negro Leagues and bars and restaurants in the warehouse district teaming with foot traffic.
That blank canvas is beginning to take on color, all right. The more ideas considered the more vibrant that canvas becomes.
For the new stadium to be successful it must reflect the community and therefore it only makes sense that the community somehow contribute to the process, even if it's only by submitting ideas to Wolff's committee.
Committee members should remember that as they go from ballpark to ballpark on their extended guys' weekend, er, fact-finding trip.
If we could all be so lucky.
| By kevink on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 09:29 am:|
I used to work in Emeryville and the weather there is bad. It's ALWAYS extremely windy, although so is the area around SBC and they somehow avoid wind in that park. No Bart to Emeryville either. Great views from Emeryville though.
| By chris_d on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 09:54 am:|
Lil is exactly right. The area drawing that was shown to us in 2002 is a small area tucked between the 980 freeway, the Greyhound Bus station and San Pablo Ave. It was never proposed at a public level. It would have involved some relocation of residents. A city official who no longer works for Oakland expressed very sincere skepticism to us about the idea's viability.
A ballpark in Emeryville would do great, and would have a much better view than SBC. It should definetly be considered. The whole Bart Thing can be worked out because MacArthur Bart is not too far away. I think Emeryville is better than Concord, and Fremont and all these other cities that have recently been mentioned, because Emeryville, like Piedmont, is no more than just an area in the City of Oakland.
| By eyleenn on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 10:14 am:|
Emeryville is an incorporated city. It also borders on Berkeley.
Here's an overhead photo of the area.
Much of the Uptown site is in the lower right-hand corner. There's some senior housing in the area IIRC, and relocating housing, especially seniors, would not happen easily or quickly.
If Emeryville were anything like Oakland, it would have the same commercial development malaise that Oakland does. Instead, Emeryville has taken advantage of the fact that it is next door to Oakland and can service it capably without the red tape (Oakland's no big box policies) or stigma. That said, a ballpark wouldn't be easy to situate there because you can't have it facing west, especially there. Unless you want the A's to forever be at the bottom of the league in home runs.
In other news, the Trib has an article today about the Wayans brothers being interested in building a studio on 70 acres of the old Army Base, which would be fantastic IMHO. Later on in the article are other ideas that were floated for uses of the land. I'm disappointed that it appears no one floated a ballpark plan at any point.
| By jeffreyb on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 05:04 pm:|
IMHO, the trouble with waterfront stadiums, is that in the Bay Area, they have significantly colder weather than inland sites. Sure, they're pretty...but I'm not alone in being a wimp about the, uh, marine layer :-). Even the existing Coliseum, pretty close to the Bay, is significantly colder at night than say downtown Oakland. Micro climates are a fact of Bay Area life, but I've never seen any consideration of this.
Well, I think people do consider that. But many of us are trying to throw out any ideas that can help the purpose, which is a new stadium. With Uptown supposedly a done deal because of Forrest City, and Wolff not wanting the Coliseum site, where else can the A's build a stadium in Oakland? People often bring up other cities such as Concord and Fremont, but Concord is not all that close to Oakland, and Fremont is so far south, that the A's might as well move to San Jose. I want to see the A's stay within the city limits of Oakland, because it just doesn't feel the same if they're called an "Oakland" team and they don't play in Oakland. Cities like Detroit, for example, had 2 of their teams playing in towns that were not Detroit, or the two NFL teams that play in an entirely different state, but call themselves "New York". And the Angels, let's not even go there. It's just not cool.
| By jeffreyb on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 05:25 pm:|
I know you're right about trying to help, but i have no specific site in mind. Laney?
| By jeffreyb on Wednesday, June 08, 2005 - 05:28 pm:|
The Uptown site was SOOOO perfect...
as long as i'm dreaming, Wolfe buys out Forrest City.
Lol. I think we all love the Uptown Idea. There would be no better setting in baseball.
| By pachyderm on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 09:36 am:|
This discussion is great, its has comedy and drama. Also, if there is new ballpark uptown, Emeryville, or where ever, Oakland's semi-pro teams; the Eagles, Oaks and Expos can there when the A's are on the road.
I spoke to local reporter about the OUSD and Laney sites. Representatives for both said they haven't been in discussions for a ballpark, and noted that it's not the direction they intend to go because of the mixed-use nature of the sites. Besides, Peralta CCD spent $30 million on the track/football stadium a couple of years ago, and they just approved another $1.5 million to add more bleachers and restrooms. Unless someone bowls them over with an offer, they're probably going to try to keep that investment intact.
Weather/micro-climate is an issue, but it can be mitigated a bit. SBC was built so that the grandstand buffets the wind, so the only place in the stands where the wind is really noticeable most of the time is dead center, below the scoreboard. As for the fog, there isn't much anyone can do about it, unless the ballpark were built in downtown or in one of the currently residential or industrial areas, many of which are not served well by BART.
| By bparkjamo on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 12:57 pm:|
I do have the maps for the area surrounding Uptown,so I'll have a look at the area near the greyhound depot,and see what can be done.
You never know.
Question- is there any open land near the Bay Fair Staion?
| By jeffreyb on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 02:47 pm:|
Rickey's! and the parking lot!
Actually, there sort of is. The Target location at the Hesperian/880/238 junction is large enough to hold a ballpark and some, though not much, parking. Some of the land might be owned by Caltrans as well. It's about a 1/2-mile from Bayfair BART. The reason I bring it up is that Target has this location and one at Bay Fair - why do they need both? Maybe they'd be willing to give up one for a good price (assuming they own it) in exchange for a nice signage deal or naming rights.
The obvious problem with the site is that it's located at one of the most heavily clogged stretches of freeway in the nation. There's also not much space for parking, and most of the neighborhoods immediately around it are residential, so San Leandro would have to set up parking zones or other restrictions.
Bay Fair itself is not doable. It's had a resurgence with the movie theater and other stuff nearby and there's no room.
Build it somewhere in the Oakland Hills! Isn't Dodger stadium in hills?
| By jeffreyb on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 08:12 am:|
a ravine, actually.
| By eyleenn on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 01:27 pm:|
But you have to have hills to create a ravine!
Actually you have to have water to create a ravine! A ravine is the path or bed created by a stream of water or waterfall on a hill and valley.
| By tekgraf on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 03:43 pm:|
Build it in knowland park! It's in a natural area and it's also near the zoo.
| By bparkjamo on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 06:47 pm:|
Build it in Brentwood,I could ride My bike to the ballpark.
Knowland Park would be nice. It would be great to have the stadium next to the zoo. The only major thing would be parking.
| By eyleenn on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 08:51 pm:|
No public transportation out that way.
Well how do people get to Dodgers stadium?
| By eyleenn on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 09:31 pm:|
They sit in horrendous traffic both entering and exiting the stadium. That's why they arrive late and leave early.
OK. Nuff Said.
It looks like the Estuary is officially in the running.
| By jeffreyb on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 06:58 am:|
is this the same link? Anyone got some real intersections or a map to point to?
| By jeffreyb on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 07:01 am:|
cool. the second of marine layer's links above, http://newballpark.blogspot.com has a lot of cool info including maps and photos.
| By oaktownfan on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 11:26 am:|
Yeah, the images look nice but that's what they are, images. Would love to see an artist's rendering of how a waterfront park would look like. I bet that would excite many A's fans and Oakland residents.
Though I think the park looking towards the estuary/Alameda is great and all. But I would've hope it would look toward the Oakland hills and have a view of downtown Oakland. So the park would still be on the green parcel but be facing eastward and the "Clinton Basin" would be like a cove area like SBC has.
Anyway, looking and reading about a new waterfront park is getting me excited again.
| By jeffreyb on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 01:55 pm:|
yeah, i may be like Charlie Brown having faith in kicking the football just one more time, but i, too, am excited. The proposed site is walking distance for me!