Five alarm fire destroys building on San Jose ballpark site

The old KNTV studios on Park Avenue in San Jose were destroyed Sunday afternoon during a five-alarm blaze. The property, which had been vacant for nearly a decade since KNTV moved to a larger facility on North First Street, was completely destroyed.

The KNTV studios occupied Parcel #12 at 645 Park Avenue

At the scene, fire investigators found generators, barbecue grills, and other items that could have caused a fire. Since the vacancy, the building had become a home for squatters. As many as 30 homeless called the building home. No people were killed, but two dogs didn’t make it out. All survivors now have to go to homeless shelters or find a spot elsewhere in downtown, probably outdoors. Firefighters already had familiarity with the building, as they used it several years ago for drills. The building, which was bought by the City of San Jose in 2004, was also convenient across the street from a fire department training station.

The building would’ve been razed at some point in the development of an A’s ballpark at the site. Because of the unusual shape of the total ballpark land, the ballpark’s footprint would not have gone to the south end, where the KNTV building was located. Instead the ballpark would’ve been pushed slightly north, where there’s greater width to accommodate the footprint. The building’s broadcasting history meant that it was eligible for City landmark status had there been an effort to preserve the property. That didn’t happen, and the building itself had little architectural value. The building immediately to the north, occupied by AT&T, has architectural value in its facade, though it too would face the wrecking ball prior to the construction of a new ballpark.

The fire reminds me of a similar incident at the old HomeBase warehouse near the Coliseum along Hegenberger. In 2005, a seven alarm fire gutted the building completely. After the fire, the Coliseum JPA bought the land in preparation for a stadium deal with the Raiders. Amazing how so many things have changed in the last 10 years, yet the most fundamental things remain the same – at least for the A’s.

29 thoughts on “Five alarm fire destroys building on San Jose ballpark site

  1. RM,

    Didn’t a similar fire happen to a “historic” structure at the old IBM plant on Cottle Road a few years back? Where Lowes now resides?

  2. Muhahahahah muhahaha (evil laugh)

    -Agent Harry of the “Quan Coliseum City Soldiers”

    “SAN jose will be defeated”…initiate “pro Oakland protical”….next target pjk and tony d…surrender to Coliseum City project

  3. must’ve been wolff’s fault somehow someway.

  4. It’s upseting when human negligence leads to animals suffering.

  5. I consider this to be a substantial step forward given the pace of progress in this whole ordeal-

  6. Peace out yall…

  7. Ehh, I doubt anything will happen. Matier and Ross say the A’s are seeking a 10 year deal at the Coliseum. The park at Howard Terminal won’t happen, Coliseum City won’t happen and San Jose won’t happen. MLB will continue to not make a decision unless someone offers up a ludicrous deal. My prediction is the A’s will still be playing in the same old crappy facility in 2024 or leave the region entirely. Just the way the Giants want it.

  8. @Baynativeguy
    Hopefully something will happen before 2024, but you are correct this is going just as the San Francisco Giants would like. I mentioned this before and I know many of you agree.
    Priority number one for the San Francisco Giants concerning the A’s- The A’s out of the Bay Area all together.
    Priority number two for the San Francisco Giants concerning the A’s-if they can’t get priority number one, confine the A’s to Oakland Alameda County, so they can maintain an unfair commutative balance.
    Priority number three for the San Francisco Giants concerning the A’s- Make sure priority’s one or two happen, because San Jose is out of the question.

  9. I love how Lew says “it’s really up to Oakland”. Yeah Lew it’s up to Oakland, with no commitment to Oakland/Alameda County to build a new ballpark, sure it’s (all), up to Oakland.
    The San Francisco Giants are playing their underhanded games, Oakland Alameda county politicians continue to play their games and Lew, while not as underhanded as the Giants of course continues to play his game.
    We should be getting a new ballpark for our team, in about 2024-27 in Portland or San Antonio, take your pick.

  10. Lakeshore: When did Lew say this? I agree with your last statement – Oakland will continue to expect a privately funded ballpark, which doesn’t pencil out for investors in that city, MLB will block San Jose, and eventually some other city will do what is necessary to get the A’s and they will be gone. Anybody who thinks the A’s have no other options than to build privately in Oakland is dreaming.

  11. @pjk: He’s quoted saying that in the Matier and Ross piece this morning. The context is his desired 10-yr extension at the Coliseum without signing onto the dev agreement with Coliseum City. It’s a PR move to draw attention away from the escape plan.

  12. @Briggs-Thank you.

  13. Another 10 years at the Coliseum. Making an absolute mockery of Selig’s statement that the A’s “cannot and will not continue” indefinitely in their current situation. What a joke he is. By the end of the lease – presuming it’s tacked on to the existing two-year lease, the A’s will have spent 17 additional years at the Coliseum after Selig’s meaningless statement. I really love this – keeps the A’s in the Bay Area and shows MLB as the bumbling fools they are – unable to resolve the A’s situation.

  14. As frustrating as it is, I can almost see the other owners point of view and why they’re split.

    1) these guys are capitalists. They want to make money and they’re probably inclined to be sympathetic when one of their own says “I can’t make money here, let me move.” Wolff is certainly not the first owner to threaten to move his team to greener pastures and probably most of these folks can envision themselves wanting their own options, if not now, one day. Oakland is poor, San Jose is wealthy. All those big, rich companies are clustered down south, not in Oakland. The people are there, the … You get the point. We’ve been over and over it all before. This isn’t about sentiment for Oakland or the A’s, it’s about $ and from that perspective the move has always made sense.

    But …

    2) the other side is the territorial rights issue. If the A’s can shift into the Giants territory, then what’s to stop them from leaving the Bay altogether and being that third NY team or LA team, etc? Those are far bigger markets and might possibly be able to absorb a third club. I don’t want a full rehash as to whether the South Bay is really Giants “territory” or not or the nature of the agreement all those years ago; whatever anyone thinks on here, it’s clear that MLB respects that and considers San Jose as belonging to the Giants. Each of these owners can also imagine how they’d react if a team tried to drop into their region. Territorial rights are sacred stuff. The Giants could reasonably argue that if the A’s move south, many of the Giants fans down there will shift allegiance while SF will not gain former A’s fans from Oakland.

    I have no special knowledge of how these guys think, this is just my view. But when you roll these two things together, the indecision starts to make sense to me. Sure, the A’s might be better off in San Jose but letting them invade Giants territory is probably a bad call from MLB’s viewpoint. They don’t want to say no, but saying yes makes them equally uncomfortable.

  15. @bayarea- agree with your overall assessment- what I can’t figure out is why they couldn’t develop some language that would protect all markets from random poaching while still allowing the A’s to locate within their designated territory. Top 3 media markets have 2 teams- ny, Chicago and la but 4 and 5 don’t- philly and Dallas. Bay Area is no. Bottom line I agree with you that baseball wants to avoid any change that might be difficult to manage and set precedence for the future- no different than the faux pas they made when they gave SCCo to the gints-

  16. @Baynativeguy
    I hear what you’re saying and it makes a lot of sense. Far be it from me to defend the San Francisco Giants, since I think they should do the right thing and give the A’s the South Bay (as was given to them, ) or attest negotiate a fair price for it, but from their perspective and a lot of us A’s fans forget this, the Giants were never compensated for allowing the A’s into the Bay Area in the first place, if the A’s move to the South Bay they will retain 85-95% of their fan base in the East Bay, while becoming a quick favorite in the South Bay as well as continuing to grew their fan base in the North Bay, sense the strategically located their triple A team in Sacramento.
    Theoretically the Giants could themselves pigeonholed on all sides, probable would not happen, and I still think they should do what’s right for not only the A’s, but for MLB, but your correct there is an argument to be made.

  17. @GoA’s
    Good points I don’t see why that could not be done.

  18. Sorry meant to say
    Theoretically the Giants could “find” themselves pigeonholed on all sides

  19. AS mentioned in the M&R piece. Dobbins from the Coliseum Authority said they want to lock in the Raiders first. We all know that until that happens (or not), no decision on the A’s can possibly be made concerning the Coliseum. I just wish the Raiders would make up their mind yesterday!!I hope Mark Davis does not allow this to drag on past the summer.

  20. re: lock the Raiders in first.

    Lew can take that back to the other owners as (additional) proof that the A’s are the redheaded stepchild and the Raiders the darlings when it comes to Oakland public officials. Further fuel to the fire that the team is not very valued in its host city.

  21. @pjk
    Re: Lew can take that back to the other owners as (additional) proof that the A’s are the redheaded stepchild and the Raiders the darlings when it comes to Oakland public officials. Further fuel to the fire that the team is not very valued in its host city.

    Of course Oakland is going to “lock the Raiders in first”, if they can. The Raiders are making a commitment (supposedly), the A’s are not, Oakland should lock the Raiders in first, I am sure the San Francisco Giants will also present to the other owners, the A’s redheaded stepchild offer to the JPA 5-10 lease (with minor improvements to the coliseum), with no commitment to Oakland or Alameda county as (additional), proof that Lew is full of it, and is not making the (real), effort he should be making in his own territory, further fuel to the fire that Lew does not value his host city/territory (justifiably or not)…

  22. This market should have been shared when the leagues combined in 1993. It was an oversight by Wally Haas who as great of a man was a bad business man as he grew up with a Silver Spoon a la Mark Davis.

    The Giants slyly did this without anyone looking at it twice.

    It is painfully obvious the East Bay is not viable and the Giants know it full well. If it was they would negotiate San Jose as Magowan was about to do in 1995 with Steve Schott and the Santa Clara site where Levi’s Stadium sits on now.

    Imagine a renovated Coliseum (baseball only) vs. Candlestick 14 miles away? Schott had all the leverage, then the Raiders came back.

    Magowan backed away from Schott at that point and got funding for Pac Bell Park less than a year later as he had leverage now.

    The last thing the Giants want is a new ballpark 12 miles away in Oakland. That hurts them more than a San Jose ballpark that would be 50 miles away.

    But why negotiate if you can keep the A’s where they are? This behavior is illegal by all U.S. law if MLB did not have an ATE.

    The A’s will never leave the Bay Area because of TV value. Right now they got 10M people they can televise to. It keeps them afloat amongst having the lowest revenue in the league.

    By moving elsewhere they would sacrifice that revenue. They are better of rotting in the Coli, collecting welfare checks or even sharing ATT Park if the Raiders get their deal done.

    My hope is the Raiders get it done by a miracle forcing the A’s into ATT Park indefinitely. That would be something else…

  23. The A’s and Raiders should share the Coliseum land and surrender to the Coliseum City project. ..if im Oakland im demand that they do…this Is getting old…

  24. @lsn- while the gints could present there more than likely are no owners who would question the business rational of investing $500M of private money to develop a ballpark in Oakland- remember- absent the gints and dodgers many years ago tax payers foot the bill for new ballparks- not owners. When Oakland steps up and gets rid of the raiders, provides development rights to LW for CC and pays the near 400M in infrastructure improvements is when the other owners as well as LW will listen

  25. In order to get a football stadium built, Mark may have to give up some controlling interest in the Raiders, and he won’t do that. I think Developers want skin in the game, and Mark is dressed like an Eskimo.

  26. @Baynativeguy :

    re #2: it is not a real problem. No disrespect to Kansas but do you really believe that some dumb owner would move a team to Kansas ?

    The markets that can support 2 teams already have 2 baseball teams. Where would the Royals play in the BA if they move here ? Plus MLB controls the movement. Unless MLB loses the ATE, then it becomes a concern, not right now

    In case people forgot, the congressional critters in Frisco threatened to revoke the ATE or at least issue a legislation in 92 if MLB had allowed Frisco to go to Tampa. Nan Pelosi, Di Fi and Barb Boxer all issued threats so MLB backed down.

    The Rays were born bcuz MLB were scared shitless of losing ATE. It is all about the ATE.

  27. @Sid
    Nice commentary and I agree with you on most of it.
    Re: The last thing the Giants want is a new ballpark 12 miles away in Oakland. That hurts them more than a San Jose ballpark that would be 50 miles away.
    Respectfully disagree, the last thing the Giants want is the A’s, 50 miles away in San Jose, I think the Giants will be hurt much more by a ballpark in San Jose and their actions show it, they certainly are not blocking the A’s from building anywhere in their current territory, you stated that “It is painfully obvious the East Bay is not viable”, but turned right around and said it would hurt the Giants more if the A’s where to build in this “ painfully obvious none viable area” your statement contradicts itself somewhat. Anyway I think we can all agree on the first thing the Giants want and that is, for the A’s to be out of the Bay Area altogether.
    @GoA’s
    I do agree with, just pointing out that there are two sides to this (or three, or four, or five), and as much as Oakland plays the victim role, Lew does as well, perhaps not as much but he does (to me).

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