The Argus’s Chris De Benedetti has a story summarizing a letter dated November 21, from Lew Wolff to Fremont City Manager Fred Diaz. It’s only two pages, so obviously it’s not a proposal, yet there are little bits here and there worthy of further analysis. The letter is PDF (Page 1/Page 2). My comments are in italics.
Project Goals (quoted in its entirety):
It is our desire to create a new home for the Athletics that significantly enhances the quality of life in the surrounding local community as well as the fan experience at the ballpark. Additionally, we seek to have a significant portion of the project funded through the development of the remaining vacant areas surrounding the ballpark. It is our intent to have the majority of this support funded by revenues and resources generated directly from the Ballpark Village development as opposed to receiving substantial direct subsidies outside of the project area (i.e. taxes) typically associated with new ballpark development projects.
Nothing new here.
Ballpark Village will contain:
- 32,000-35,000 seat ballpark
- a lifestyle center retail project within a mixed-used development at a level of quality equal to that of the award winning Santana Row project in San Jose
- a residential community with a majority of multi-family units in a pedestrian-friendly village in proximity to the ballpark
This is the first official acknowledgment of the Village’s resemblance to Santana Row. The idea that the remaining (majority) housing will be separated from the Ballpark Village is good. If well conceived, it’ll provide the convenience that comes with living near an entertainment center, while providing a quiet and safe environment for raising children. That’s a pretty tall order.
- Up to $500 million
- In return for successfully completing the Ballpark Village entitlement approach… along with other real estate related financing tools… the Athletics would agree to enter into a long term arrangement (40 years including extensions) for the team to remain in Fremont for the distant future.
- The A’s would be responsible for building and running the ballpark, as well as cost overruns.
- No City or County support required beyond the initial project support
- If desired by all parties, the City or its designated public agency designee (think of a JPA like the Coliseum authority) could potentially own the land and the completed ballpark under our proposal.
Remember that if the city owns the land and/or part of the stadium, the A’s won’t have to pay property taxes on the city-owned piece.
40-Acre City Parcel (quoted in its entirety):
“In order to create the pedestrian-oriented Ballpark Village community and avoid having a typical “sea” of surface parking around the proposed ballpark, we would propose to enter into a lease or other arrangement for a portion of the 40-acre City parcel to the west of the Pacific Commons development. The term of this arrangement for the parcel would be equivalent to that of the Athletics’ commitment at the ballpark. This parcel and other areas would be included in an integrated transit, traffic, and parking program for the new planned Ballpark Village community.”
If you’re wondering where this parcel is, take a look at the map below:
The map is based off the original Cisco development plans. Notice how office buildings are concentrated along a street and parking is on the outside towards the wetlands. The parking lots act as a buffer, and as murf mentioned in an earlier comment, a large buffer may be required. It could become a sticking point. The map also shows the planned Capitol Corridor/ACE station to the west of (below) the city parcel.
To make this work, the A’s will have to designate some of their project land as parkland. That’s going to happen as part of the residential development requirement, so it’s potentially a fair trade. The land is not a great place for a park anyway. Why? The landfill is only a few hundred feet away, across the tracks (I’ll have pictures tomorrow).
40 acres equals 5,000 parking spaces. Couple that with the parking I’ve targeted close to 880 and you’ve got 9,000-10,000 spaces. What will that integrated transit, traffic, and parking program contain?