gojohn10 was good enough to go on today’s Diridon site walking tour. He’s also shown up at some of the Fremont and San Jose functions. Here are his notes (edited ever so slightly) and some pictures, which include an update on how things are going in SJ.
- Tour led by Dennis Korabiak again
- Only about 10-15 people this time
- We went to a room at HP Pavilion for a Q&A presentation
- Korabiak said he met with baseball officials this week. Wouldn’t comment when someone asked if it was the BRC. He said it was a matter of public record and could be found on his boss’ (Harry Mavrogenes’ calender on the net). I checked and only saw a regular meeting with the two on Wed the 20th
- No timetable for response but baseball seems impressed
- If territorial rights are changed by December or early January, OK for March election
- If ballot approved active negotiations begin with A’s to sell or lease the land [Ed.: City/Redev are on hold until that happens.]
- Current estimate is $460 million for facility only
- Officially need to have a vote, though theoretically not necessary if A’s buy land [Ed.: Only if holdouts are willing to sell, else eminent domain needed.]
- Someone asked if SJ has $ for remaining parcels. He rambled a bit then said they are selling other assests and “getting good deals.” He thinks the answer is yes, they will have the money. As for Wolff buying the land he said “show me the $” [Ed.: Indeed. SJRA does have $140 million in assets, BTW.]
- Substation is there to stay. Not required to move even for high speed rail. I asked if there would be any effort to make it look nicer. He said the A’s facility design should take care of that. [Ed.: I hope people like cinder blocks. Or freeway sound walls.]
- Someone asked if MLB has approved park dimensions (right with ya, buddy). Korabiak said we’re not there yet.
- Someone asked if the park will be at ground level. Korabiak said it might make sense to sink the field 10-25′ the the expensive seats on top are easier to get to (reaffirms ML’s take that the club seats are up high) [Ed.: Yep, figured as much]
- If no vote on stadium the city will still buy land for BART and HSR
- AT&T building eligible to be designated historical landmark (unfortunately I kinda missed this part). As for negotiations he says there is much more to it than AT&T being a Giants sponsor. Eminent Domain is on the table, but last resort and something they would like to avoid for tax reasons. [Ed.: AT&T can be designated a landmark, but it is still going to be demolished if the ballpark moves forward. Efforts will be made to document its history and value, including possible salvage. The same goes for the old KNTV studio next door, which has already been bought by City.]
- I asked whether the Giants success has any effect. He said he didn’t know. [Ed.: I've given this some thought the last few days, and I think that if the Giants win the boost in ticket and merchandise sales could provide enough economic ballast to make arguments about economic hardship somewhat moot, at least for a few years.]
Much thanks to gojohn10 for taking the tour and reporting in. He’s also working with Jeffrey on another interesting feature we should have up soon. That and the usually post-World Series, post-election flurry of activity should make things interesting around here soon.