Some of you have already taken to the Fremont news in the previous thread. There’s a lot to go over here, so for now I’ll just give a brief overview of what Fremont’s doing.
In July, I wrote about the challenges that Fremont faces with NUMMI. At the time, the winds were blowing cold for the plant and only a month later, Toyota announced plans to close the plant. Knowing the future it faced with the loss of a major employer, Fremont snapped into action. The documents the city has made available are a culmination of nearly three years of EIR work. There’s the traffic and transportation study that we’d been looking for, lots of valuable ticket sales data furnished by the A’s, and more. Here are some handy links if you want to dive in:
- Matthew Artz’ article in the Argus
- Carolyn Jones’ article in the Chronicle
- Staff Report for Tuesday (1/12, 5:00 PM) Work Session (PDF)
- Conceptual Approach & Appendices (ZIP file, 27 MB)
Here’s how I understand this would work:
- Fremont and perhaps Alameda County via a JPA would buy 120 acres of NUMMI land at the north end of the plant for the ballpark and parking.
- The 36,000-seat ballpark would be located roughly 1/2 mile west of the future Warm Springs BART station.
- The massive lot used for assembled vehicles would be the main parking lot, with 8,920 spaces. 2,000 spaces would be off-site.
- City expects 10% of fans to use public transit, plus a fairly high number of charter bus users.
- The next three years would be spent prepping the legal stuff including zoning and entitlements changes.
- Construction would start in March 2013
- Opening Day would be in April 2015, coinciding with the projected start of BART service to Warm Springs in late 2014.
- Ballpark land lease would be $1 million a year
- City would get a $1/ticket fee
- Parking revenue splits would be 75% A’s/25% Fremont
Before some of you start laying into Oakland for not having something like this ready, keep in mind that much of this data was already available for Fremont, so it’s not like there were additional expenditures or lead times for reports.
One of the biggest issues for Fremont is figuring out how to acquire the land. Fremont doesn’t have a massive redevelopment agency like San Jose and Oakland, and it doesn’t practice land banking as a method to cover the cost. NUMMI is also not in an established redevelopment zone, so if the City were to move forward with this, they’d have to go through the process of making NUMMI such a zone (which makes sense ultimately – still it’s a hurdle).
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the NIMBY factor, which helped sink the previous plan. The difference between this location and the oft-considered location in the aborted Warm Springs plan is not great, only 1/2 mile. I imagine that many of the concerns expressed then will still be concerns now. We’ll see if the economic change – both local and national – seen in the last year affects perspectives.