De la Fuente pushes estuary site for ballpark
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| By oaktownfan on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 09:15 pm:|
Whether the bleachers would've stayed or not, I don't think the A's would've seen what happened to the coliseum and thought it still would've been a long term home to the A's.
The A's with all these newer "baseball only" parks being built were going to ask for a baseball only park too eventually no matter how nice that other design would've been.
Since the coliseum parking lot site is almost a lost cause, that leaves the waterfront area as probably the only logical site left unless they find a way to design a park around the uptown area still.
I went to the new Heganberger gateway, and I honestly don't see what Wolff is thinking. That area is poppin and I don't mean gunshots. That new gateway plaza is poppin almost every night especially with the Starbuck's and the In-N-Out. I went there and saw so many different people of so many different races, so if a ballpark would be built there, it's not like people would be scared of the fact that they're in "Dangerous" East Oakland. That would be so great to build at the Coliseum. And by the way In-N-Out's not bad.
| By kevink on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 12:29 pm:|
IN-N-Out's "not bad"??????
Alright, everybody has their faults, even A's fans!
Seriously, I've always said, they can add a lot to that gateway area, including restaraunts and bars, and make a nice atmosphere near a new park. Not completely perfect, but a big upgrade over the current stadium, and close to transportation. Anyway, it's all about baseball and not "views of the bay" right? We'll let the team on the other side gaze out at the bay while we watch baseball!
| By oaktownfan on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 03:24 pm:|
I'm for a new park anywhere in Oakland but don't tell me a park near the waterfront wouldn't make the park a little more special and appealing.
You think if SF built their new park back in the late 90s near the stick that it would be as great as it is now near the China Basin. You add shops and restuarants around that park in the parking lot and I doubt SBC or whatever they would've named it would be the jewel it is today.
A waterfront park near downtown Oakland would highlight the city of Oakland more than a park built near to the arena/coliseum.
I mean, really, do we need 3 sports venues built in the same area when there are other parts of the city that could use a huge attraction like a new baseball park to get people into that area.
"You think if SF built their new park back in the late 90s near the stick that it would be as great as it is now near the China Basin."
You're right, a park built near the Stick would not do as well. But the area around the Stick and The Mac (although they are both crime ridden) are totally different. At the Coliseum, you have one side neighborhoods, a Bart Station, and the other side a strip of places to eat and shop. On the contrary, At the stick, you have one side housing projects, with about 2 bus stops, and the other side water. See the difference? So yea your right, a new ballpark in the Stick's parking lot wouldn't do good, heck the Stick didn't do well in it's own parking lot. But the Coliseum has the transportation and the redevelopement to house a new ballpark quite well.
| By oaktownfan on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 05:26 pm:|
I just want what's best for the city of Oakland and if you build a park near the downtown area or waterfront, you highlight a part of the city that not many outsiders know about.
Oakland is a beautiful place and has great sightlines. Again, do we really want 3 sports venues to be just a few feet from each other or would you rather have a waterfront park that would not only be a great place to watch a ballgame but would create a general excitement around an area that has more potential I think than does the parking lot site.
very true oaktownfan,
but you also have to ask yourself, do you want a ballpark with a beautiful view of the bay, that also has bad public transportation and is totally isolated from the rest of the city. Or would you have a ballpark with a beautiful view of the hills, with easy access and more of a focus on the game than on the water beyond outfield?
| By oaktownfan on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 08:54 pm:|
They said the same thing about SBC and how it would cause a huge traffic jam around the park and the bridge yet SF got things worked out and it's one of the best parks in regards to getting in and out of.
I wouldn't call the Oak to 9th site isolated. It's maybe a mile away from JLS and there's going to be a housing/commercial development at that site whether a park is built there or not so the area from Oak to 9th AND JLS will be a much different place 5-10 years from now.
| By oaktownfan on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 09:23 pm:|
Seems like the site where an estuary park has changed I guess, I don't know if it's for certain.
The new location wouldn't have a great watefront view beyond the outfield but it would have a view of what the Mac used to have which was a view of the Oakland hills and in the new park's site, a view of downtown Oakland.
HMMMMM. The news that A's co-owner Lewis Wolff no longer thinks a new baseball-only stadium can be built in the Coliseum parking lot makes us a little uneasy. Maybe we're gun shy from our experiences with other owners of sports teams. Maybe there's no need to worry. Maybe.
Wolff told reporters last week he'd changed his mind about the Coliseum site. He cited concerns about the utility lines, availability of surrounding land and negotiations with the football and basketball teams that use the stadium site.
We're puzzled by the fact that he changed his mind, but hadn't talked to either the Raiders or the Warriors. It also seems likely he would have become acquainted with the land availability before making such a major investment. We can't see what changed to change Wolff's mind.
Something else troubles us as well. Previously, Wolff had always promised to keep the team in Oakland, pledging his commitment to the city. Last week when he was asked what he could say to assure A's fans he hadn't changed his mind about keeping the team in the city, he replied, "I can only assure people we are going to do the best we can to find a location in our territory." That territory, defined by Major League Baseball, includes Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
As we said, maybe we're a little paranoid. But as the saying goes, "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get me."
City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, who has met with Wolff regularly about a location for the new stadium, said Wolff's change of heart was simply part of the process, not a setback. De La Fuente favors building the stadium along the Oakland Estuary, on a site called Oak to Ninth. Aesthetically it would be a desirable site, sitting on the water. But that location has some problems too, mainly transportation access and not being near a BART station. It also has a low water table that could limit the design for the stadium and could delay a housing development already planned for the area.
Of course, no site will be free of challenges to overcome. We urge city officials, who seem to be working with team officials, to continue doing so and help owners locate a workable location. They need to expand the search and be as creative and open-minded as possible. Business and community leaders should pitch-in as well. We don't want the owners to be able to give the excuse that they didn't have cooperation from city leaders as a reason to move the team to another city. That's an old excuse for failed or testy relationships with sports franchises that we'd rather not see repeated or resurrected.
There we go again, worrying about the team leaving the city. We hope our uneasiness is not founded.
Er ah, wasn't it Wolff who came up with the parking lot plan as a pretext for acquiring the team? Now he doesn't like the utility lines. Holy electromagnetic fields, Batman, how did he miss that?
Better tell Mr. Contraction a low water table would be a good thing. I think they meant a high water table, if the site is right next to the water. Details, details...
and for more bad news, visit marinelayer's blog linked below and scroll down to his report on the Measure DD Coalition Meeting which concerns the ballpark in that area...
The tough part is timing. Maybe if Wolff had brought up the Estuary idea (Wolff, not DLF) last year they could have folded it in and made a decent deal that worked for all involved. But now, it's kinda late in the game. It's not nearly as far along as Uptown, but if DLF somehow forced Signature to stop, draft a new plan/EIR, then get it approved by the coalition (big IF), planning commission, and others, it would add at least another year to the development schedule. The Ghielmetti's would no doubt be upset about that. I suppose the City Council could try to ram a ballpark plan through regardless of recommendations, but who on the Council is willing to do that? DLF?
| By nickb on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 04:55 pm:|
I know it's been debated before, but I can't understand for the life of me why in the world Wolff would now say the parking lot is out of the question when it was his idea all along. You'd have thought that he would have done his homework ahead of time to determine the feasibility of the lot, wouldn't you? I get the sneaking suspicion that he's not interested in a ballpark in Oakland at all - he seems to have a foregone conclusion about the future home of the A's and I get the feeling it's not in the bay area at all.
...or anywhere else for that matter.
But it was Michael Ghilmetti, president of Signature Properties, who said that if the A's wanted to put a park on that site they are developing, they would be happy to sit down to work something out. So they don't have to be forced by DLF. Ghilmetti has been on board from the start as one of Oakland business men more compliant to work a deal with the A's. That site was Hofmann's favorite site for the ballpark and Ghilmetti is like a son to Hofmann.
So one must assume here that it was Schott then, and now Wolff who once again are turning a death ear to another attempt by Oakland to make something happen.
Blaming Jerry Brown and City Council is getting a little old and ridiculous at this point. Jerry is a lame duck and DLF has gone public that he support the project. The ball in on Wolff's court now.
I'm sure, like everyone else, that the "utility lines" issue with the Coliseum lot is just an excuse, and a poor one at that. However, I don't believe that it's part of some consipiracy. Frankly, I think put out feelers to other private investors to get their take on development immediately surrounding the Coliseum, and they mostly said it sucked. For those think the Coliseum is akin to being the next Emeryville, there are issues to point out:
1. Historically, a ballpark doesn't stimulate surrounding development (Texas). Usually there already has to be something else already there to foster growth, with the ballpark being the anchor or crown jewel.
2. Hegenberger Gateway is not a valid argument for development, because it runs counter to what the ballpark village concept is. HG is just a typical shopping center near an Interstate with a big-box retailer as an anchor. Those are a dime-a-dozen. The ballpark village concept that Wolff is pursuing (and other teams) should have medium-to-high priced retail and housing. Otherwise, you won't get the appreciation and resulting property tax revenues needed to help fund the ballpark.
3. Wolff hasn't shown himself to be the kind of developer to take huge risks. He has taken over hotels that have underperformed, but are in growth areas. But that's as far as he's gone. Even the downtown LA hotel he's constructing will break ground several years AFTER Staples Center opened. Now the area has more residential and hotels coming in, and Wolff is getting a piece of it. In other words, he's not a trendsetter.
With Vegas, the arguments against Vegas are real. I'll quote Terrence Lanni, CEO of MGM-Mirage in a June article for Bloomberg: "We've invested $9 billion in this state, and we haven't gotten anything, nor have we asked for anything," he says. "I'm definitely opposed to it if they're giving subsidies." And don't expect a privately-financed ballpark, because that brings up the gambling issue.
As far as contraction goes, all you have to do is go back to 2002. MLB folded like a cheap tent when it faced legal challenges from Minnesota. They didn't even get the chance to fight the players' union on the issue, and if they brought up contraction talk prior to the 2006 CBA, it would cause a long and ugly strike/lockout. Besides, MLB would have to fold two teams to make it happen, and one of the obvious candidates, Montreal, is no longer a candidate.
I understand all the skepticism and worry. But the facts are that MLB doesn't have as advantageous position on these issues as it looks.
So was this previous quote supposed to be a positive one?
Yes. If Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman thinks he'll get a publicly-funded stadium, he's asking for a fight, if not a war.
| By oaktownfan on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 12:02 am:|
Where is John Fischer who owns most of the A's. He's a bay area guy right? How come we aren't hearing anything from him.
I know Wolff is sort of like the McGowen of the A's spokemans, but Fischer needs to be heard from or is he another Hoffman.
Man, just a weekend ago, I was all excited about possbiliy a new waterfront park but everytime I read something Wolff "doesn't do", pisses me off even more.
If the A's are going to leave Oakland, then leave. If the A's are serious about building a park in Oakland, then come out and say it. I'm tired of his cat and mouse game going on with the A's owners.
Yes, Hofmann was not only a bay area guy, but an Oakland guy and he deep pockets but was totally silenced during his ownership.
I just hope history (Selig) is not repeating itself with Fischer/Wolff partnership...or should we start calling them Wolfsher?
Has any reporter or columnist even tried to interview the guy?
| By pachyderm on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 11:35 am:|
Here is one report from SF Chron archive about both previous owners:
| By oaktownfan on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 05:14 am:|
New article about the bitching that's going on for the A's park site.
I'm surprised if the A's will get a park built somewhere in Oakland. With all the politcial BS and the silence from the A's side, if I had to put some odds on whether a decade from now if a park is built in Oakland, I'd put close to 1/3 chance of it happening.
| By diamond_lil on Friday, November 24, 2006 - 09:29 pm:|
mike, I hope you're just kidding and you're not the hacker...
i am just kidding.
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