First off, I have to apologize for being an absentee blogrunner the last couple of days. This is a busy week at work, so busy that I haven’t been able to do rudimentary moderation. All will be back to normal tomorrow (unless something blows up). On a tangential note, I’m exploring new ways to do some blogging and simple work tasks (yes, that was my ugly mug on TV Saturday night).
On to the news. As reported Monday, Fremont’s wondering what the fate will be of the now shuttered NUMMI plant, which I drove by Friday morning as a crane was getting ready to take the plant’s sign off. If history is any indicator, it’ll turn into a mall. Oakland’s Chevy plant shut down in 1963 and was demolished to make way for Eastmont Mall, which itself was closed and reused as a mixed government/retail center. The Ford plant in Milpitas was reused as a large outlet mall, with numerous references to its storied past. Reporter Matthew Artz notes that cleanup cost for the Ford plant was $12 million ($20 million in today’s dollars, though it’s impossible to tell just how much it’ll cost today until an assessment is made. Mayor Bob Wasserman thinks that the land will fetch $1.5 million per acre, or $555 million for the whole shebang. Last July, I wrote about how no one should start thinking that any of the land could quickly be turned over for a ballpark because of the planning and development process. This article, among others, confirms this. If neither San Jose nor Oakland fall out, Fremont may become a good option, but it’s unlikely that anything could start there until the middle of the decade.
12 miles south of NUMMI, MLB second-in-command Bob DuPuy visited San Jose City Hall, meeting with Mayor Chuck Reed and Lew Wolff.
“We talked about baseball and opening day,” said Reed, adding that DuPuy, with whom he has talked on the phone before, “wanted to see San Jose in person.”
DuPuy is one of two people to whom a special committee appointed by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to study the A’s stadium options is reporting. The other person is Selig himself, a college fraternity brother of Wolff’s.
Reed said baseball officials “like San Jose, and they are doing their due diligence. We just have to be patient.” The committee is expected to make a recommendation to Selig in the near future; San Jose officials have said they need a decision by late July in order to schedule a November ballot measure on a proposal to let the team build on city-owned land.
Wolff told the Mercury News the meeting with DuPuy “was really more of a hello —nothing earth-shaking. The process is still the process.”
I know that many San Jose partisans are getting excited about this – don’t. The key phrase is “due diligence.” The three amigos didn’t even visit the ballpark site, choosing instead to get an obstructed view from the 18th floor. As my 8th grade social studies teacher, Mr. Gredasoff, used to say when he got fed up with the class’s behavior, we’re “moving along at a feverish pace.”