The best take I’ve seen on the demise of the Fremont plan comes not from the sports page, but from the Examiner’s Architecture and Design writer George Calys. His insightful piece de-emphasizes the hot-button issues that seemed to dominate the media of late and gets to the true bottom of the situation: money. Here’s a sample:
The residential market is suffering a shut out. What’s that got to do with a ballpark? The proposed ballpark village (like others already constructed or underway) relies on a mix of residential properties to make the project “pencil out”. Without the condos, homes, and apartments that are a part of the development, you don’t have a project. Anyone noticed how the residential market is practically scoreless?
The entire model for delivering Cisco Field and the baseball village completely blew up in a 6-month span. It’s bad enough if you’re the A’s and you’ve already put up millions to pay for additional real estate, EIR studies, and such. The collapse of virtually every part of private enterprise spelled doom for the plan. Any thoughts of planning anything similar in fashion or scope should be reined in. Some of you have asked whether Site A or Site B can support X amount of ancillary development to support a ballpark. For the time being, it’s not even worth projecting because of the economy. If the A’s are focused on building a ballpark anytime soon, wherever it is, it will just be that. Nothing more.