Oakland Planning Commission Meeting 12/1

As FSU pointed out at AN, there is a Planning Commission Meeting on December 1st to take initial comments about a ballpark project at Victory Court. The mandatory Notice of Preparation was filed yesterday. Here are the details:

5. Location: Multiple parcels located east of Oak Street to the Lake Merritt channel between I-880 and Embarcadero. Including the Laney College parking lot north of I-880 and a city owned parcel south of Embarcadero.

Assessor Parcel Numbers: 000O-0455-004-04; -009-03; -004-02; -15-02; 000O-0440-004-03; -003-01; -002-00; -001-00; -007-00; -009-03; -012-00; -005-00; -006-00; 000O-0435-001-00; -003-00; -005-01; -002-01; -010-06; -007-03; -010-04; 000O-0430-001-04; 000O-0445-012-02

Proposal: The Project consists of a new ballpark of up to 39,000 seats, located east of Fallon Street, and adjacent development in the project area including up to 180,000 square feet of retail, up to 540,000 square feet of office, up to 700 residential units and approximately 2,500 off-street parking spaces. The proposal may include the potential for land acquisition and include the extension of 4th, 3rd, and 2nd Streets to Fallon Street and the development of new open space adjacent to the Lake Merritt Channel.

Applicant: City of Oakland/ Oakland Redevelopment Agency

Contact Person/Phone Number: Gregory Hunter / (510)238-2992

Owner: Multiple Private and Public owners

Case File Number: ER10-0002

General Plan: Estuary Plan Area – Mixed Use; Central Business District; Estuary Plan Area – Parks

Zoning: M-20, Light Manufacturing Zone CBD-X, Central Business District Mixed Commercial Zone S-2, Civic Center Zone S-4, Design Review Combining Zone OS (RSP), Open Space Zone – Regional Open Space

Environmental Determination: Staff has determined that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) willbe prepared for this project. A Notice of Preparation (NOP) toprepare the EIR was published on November 10, 2010. The comment period for the NOP ends on December 9, 2010.

Historic Status: The project site does not contain any historic properties

Service Delivery District: Metro

City Council District: 3

Action to be Taken: Receive public and Commission comments about what information and analysis should be included in the EIR. No decisions on the project will be made at this hearing.

For Further Information: Contact case planner Peterson Z. Vollmann at (510) 238-6167 or by email: pvollman@oaklandnet.com.

Note that in addition to the 39,000-seat ballpark, a large amount of ancillary development is scoped out including 180,000 square feet of retail and 540,000 square feet of office space. I have not yet found the NOP on the City’s website, I’ll post it as soon as I get it. Not to be forgotten, Let’s Go Oakland head Doug Boxer is the Chair of the Planning Commission.

I’ll be in the house. December 1st, 6 PM @ Oakland City Hall Hearing Room 1.

57 thoughts on “Oakland Planning Commission Meeting 12/1

  1. Did I count right–22 distinct parcels that would need to be acquired?

  2. Not seeing anything here about how they would pay for the ballpark.

  3. It’s the EIR process. It’s not supposed to be about the financial aspects.

  4. If Oakland doesn’t have the money and the A’s don’t want to build a 100% privately funded ballpark in Oakland, then the EIR process is just a bureaucratic waste of paper and staff time.

  5. @pjk — pretty much agree, but it’s progress for Oakland to even have gotten this far. we still don’t exactly know what discussions the city has had with the ballpark task force. Judging by the AN interview, if Wolff doesn’t get SJ he’ll sell, and then Oakland could come back into play.

  6. if Jeffrey is right on the estimated costs to acquire the property for this potential site than I have to agree–makes no sense–but remember what Jeffrey said in an earlier post about what Oakland’s strategy is–obstruct and hope that TR aren’t overturned—the timing is somewhat ironic in that the most logical time for a decision to be made would be December….

  7. San Jose started its EIR process without any assurances that the T-rights issue would work in its favor. Better late than never for Oakland.

  8. Looks like there might be new found energy from Oakland, especially after Jean Quan’s victory.

  9. I’m curious about that amount of office space they want to include; how much is already sitting unused at Jack London Square, and are they including it in the figures?

  10. What about other sites? Is Oakland saying that Victory Court is the best bet for a new stadium. I guess will have to go to the meeting to see.

  11. @ML–2 different things what SJ did and what Oakland might do–SJ acquired property that they could use regardless but most importantly they knew they could afford it….why start spending money on plans when the ultimate cost may well be cost prohibitive…and you pretty much know that going into it—-to me that is a reckless waste of taxpayer money-

    • @ML–2 different things what SJ did and what Oakland might do–SJ acquired property that they could use regardless but most importantly they knew they could afford it….why start spending money on plans when the ultimate cost may well be cost prohibitive…and you pretty much know that going into it—-to me that is a reckless waste of taxpayer money-
      One last thought for tonight. This EIR might not be a “reckless waste of taxpayer money” because most EIR’s have other alternatives noted; i.e. ballpark, residential, no build, etc. So the data/information collected for the VC ballpark EIR won’t go wasted even if a venue never surfaces. Looks like Signature Properties could win out with this EIR either way!

  12. Guys, this isn’t new. I talked about a coming EIR in the 980 stadium post

  13. @GoA’s – It can’t hurt to get work started. If MLB decides in San Jose’s favor they can easily mothball the project, or continue it just in case SJ falls through. If they’re banking on working with someone other than Wolff, it’s the only way forward. Maybe it’s a Hail Mary, sometimes Hail Mary’s are caught for touchdowns.

  14. This is a (small) positive step, for the Oakland Athletics franchise.

  15. I like it. Nothing would be better than a new stadium where I can actually root for my favorite team amongst my fellow green and gold clad lunatics and not be in the minority. I haven’t experienced that kind of awesome since Game 3 of the 2006 ALDS.
    This is progress in that direction. Oakland, San Jose or Crockett, for all I care. As long as it can be funded, built and used while I watch.

  16. @Ethan – That’s a funny thing. 6 months ago LGO and the City showed 3-4 sites as equals. Some time after that, it was clear that Victory Court was the chosen one. Yet there was no public vetting – no hearings, no further community sessions. This upcoming meeting will be the first time the public has a chance to comment. That seems a bit off to me. I can only hope that the EIR alternatives will include at least one of the other sites or even unmentioned sites to allow for a proper discussion. If not, it’ll look even more like the game is rigged.

  17. Marine Layer I live in Oakland and have driven Victory Court and the Jack London North site. Howard Terminal is too hectic and currently impossible to get to and we all know what the Coliseum is all about. Victory Court could be nice. This site would have great views of Downtown Oakland and is near the water. The problem with Victory Court is infrastructure even though it is right next to the freeway. There are no direct off ramps and it seems like it would create a construction nightmare. Also the Victory Court has some thriving businesses in the area. LGO has heard from me on other sites (none of the ones mentioned by the city or LGO) .You are right Victory Court seems pre selected for some reason.

  18. It’s preselected because Signature Properties wants it to be.

  19. No doubt Signature Props has a lot of political clout in Oakland. Why don’t they buy the A’s? Not a billionaire company?

  20. @ Ethan–Signature Park at Victory Court works for me, but doubt they’d be interested. It would be nice if some company would step up with naming rights in Oakland to compete with Cisco.
    Interesting that the ballpark they plan there is 39,000 in capacity, rather than Wolff’s no-frills 32k bandbox in SJ. You sell out 39,000 and you get 3.16 mill, which will be an all-time record. Cisco in SJ can never be above 2.6, which is slightly above the league average. 38-40k is the perfect size, and hopefully a big chunk of those will be affordable for families and kids.

  21. @jk-usa – I’m all for this. If Signature wants to make a buck off someone else’s project, they should have an equity stake. Pony up, Ghielmettis.

  22. Jk,
    It wouldn’t be the A’s planning a 39k seat ballpark at VC; its simply the city of Oakland doing an EIR for a 39k ballpark.
    Don’t forget that the original ballpark EIR for San Jose was for a 45k seat ballpark. Its the A’s and LW that want a 32k seat ballpark at Diridon.
    But nice try at trying to make VC look more “viable” than Diridon/SJ.

  23. @Tony 32K is weak. That’s nothing to brag about

    • @all – The capacity estimate is only to provide an outer limit. The purpose of the EIR is to determine impacts, therefore you want to spec a large stadium even if the final product may be smaller. Spec too small and the methodology becomes questionable.

    • @Tony 32K is weak. That’s nothing to brag about

      Not bragging, just stating facts. I don’t necessarily agree with 32k either, but whatever; I’ll take it over NOk anyday.

  24. Anyone interested in pre or post meeting festivities at the Trappist?

  25. I’m in. Post would be best.

  26. @Tony- EIR’s have a shelf life—outside of this proposed development I don’t see that there will be alot of people knocking down the door to build at this site—spending $500k-$1M when you know that the cost of acquistion of the land is going to be prohibitive reeks of another stall tactic–i.e–look MLB we are moving forward even though the likelihood of anything really happening is zero to none—I would never waste my own money having plans drawn for a house that I know I couldn’t afford to build…

  27. @gojohn10- 81 sold out dates at 32k would place the A’s 11th ov 30th in attendance using 2010—seems just about right to me—

  28. @GoA’s–11th out of 30? But San Jose is the 10th largest city in the US? WTF? Don”t expect sellouts after year 3 if they suck. The novelty will wear off real quick on this uninspiring, no frills bandbox.
    BTW, Oakland, the 35th largest city in 1990 ranked 4th, 3rd, 4th and 5th in attendance out of 26 teams from 1989-92, in a 25 y/o stadium built for football in a less than desirable area.

  29. @jk–so just what you need…a bigger ballpark when the 32k one isn’t sold out…not that I agree with your comment but come on man…explain that logic–the whole point is to create a supply and demand tension that significantly increases season tix holders, allows you to charge more for tix, and fills the place on most if not all nights–rather have a sold out park 81 nights a year than a park of 39,000 that is only 80% full—your gonna make more in the 32k park than you would in the 39k park that averages 80%.

    and btw–Oakland was 29th out of 30 in attendance last year—who cares what happened 20 years ago–what matters is what the oppty is today and what it is in the future–living in the past isn’g going to get a ballark built

  30. @GoA’s–boy, you sure don’t get it. The great legacy and tradition of Oakland A’s baseball will end as we know it, if,heaven forbid, Cisco is built. It will NEVER be the same in SJ. BTW, thanks for BB lack of action and LW one foot out the door, that we were were 29th. And they still made money…lol

  31. @jk–lol-I think I do get it—moving 40 miles down the road into a very cool ballpark in a great downtown location will only serve to restore the legacy of the A’s which right now in the city of Oakland is horrible—-sure they make money–because they are on welfare–not a sustainable system to produce a competitive club—-btw–the best ballparks IMHO are Wrigley and Fenway…hands down I would rather have one of those than a gimicky ATT—Cisco Field is going to be a lot more like these ballparks —and don’t forget–the architect of Cisco won ballpark of the year for their design in Columbus–its no mistake that alot of the same features are in Cisco Field.

  32. @GoA’s Wolff talks about how important seeing the kids and families at the ballpark are to him, yet a 32K park, built to create demand, will surely price most families out. Seriously, if the support for the A’s in SJ is going to be so great, as you say, why does the park have to be so small to sell out? If you don’t count the tarp at the trop, PNC has the smallest capacity at 38.5K. That’s an embarrassingly HUGE drop to 32K!

  33. @gojohn10–i totally agree with you. 32k is too small. 39-40k is perfect, with 8-10k affordable seats for families. Either Lew thinks he may have trouble filling it, or he’s going to gouge those 32k with high ticket prices. BTW, PNC is my favorite of the new parks.

  34. @gojohn10-ML has done a post before on construction cost–when your privately financing a ballpark every seat has a cost to it–there needs to be an ROI in order to rationalize it–you can bet PNC wishes they were smaller than 38k when they are averaging 19k per game—not to mention the fact that a smaller ballpark creates a much more intimate atmosphere- also note that the NY Mets averaged 32k last year and TX averaged 30k in a 48k ballpark-so not quite sure what your comment about SJ being large enough to sell out—-its not selling out occassionally its selling out all of the time that you strive for with a healthy number of season tix holders and a quality atmosphere in the ballpark. Last time the A’s played Boston in the playoffs, 1) the place wasn’t sold out and 2) there were more Boston fans than A’s fans and they took over the ballpark–embarassing!!

    Regarding making it affordable to kids and families–lets be real–there aren’t any public subsidies otherwise you could make it more affordable…..don’t hold LW to building a privately financed ballpark and than bitch at him that tix are too expensive–once again–no different than most of us–I expect a return on my investments—ATT and less than affordable to the average family and they average just over 36k last year

  35. the only thing “horrible” about Oakland baseball – is the lack of respect shown to A’s fans, by the current ownership.

    This meeting is happening on Dec. 1st.

    Let’s Go Oakland A’s!!

  36. @David-been an A’s fan all my life–and I feel no disrespect–only hope that they will get a new ballpark in SJ–

  37. the A’s would have higher attendance, right now in Oakland if they would market the team to the community they currently play in. Sending ‘Stomper’ and the players to Walnut Creek, Danville and SJ, clearly has not helped attendance.

  38. @David-the A’s are a bay area team–thinking that the city of Oakland can support them alone is pretty ridiculous–

  39. @GoA’s — i never said the only reach out to Oakland residents. I said, ignoring Oakland ain’t gonna help attendance. Which actually supports your last statement. Cool, send ‘Stomper’ to Antioch … but also send him to an Oakland school.

    I can’t remember the last time the A’s sent players to an Oakland school. The Raider and Warriors, do it rather frequently.

  40. @GoA’s and David—The A’s Holiday Caravan went to 7 events last year: Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Emeryville and Pleasanton, and 3, COUNT EM, 3 appearances in San Jose, including taking part in the San Jose Holiday Parade.
    No events in Oakland. What about America’s Children’s Holiday Parade in DT Oakland, which, in it’s11th year, draws 100k? I don’t see the A’s in this years lineup, so they’ll pass again I guess. Walter Haas is turning over in his grave yet again.

  41. @David,
    I’m an A’s fan to and don’t feel disrespected one bit by LW. Please stop with the “all A’s fans” crap.
    That ridiculous reasoning has bee played out here already.
    FYI, most league wide MLB attendance seems to average between 25-38k, including parks with capacities upwards of 43-50k. Lots of empty seats at Petco Park, Coors Field, and the former Jake.
    32k capacity may prove to be just right.

  42. @TonyD–MLB parks are getting much smaller and NFL stadiums are getting bigger. What does that tell you? America’s favorite pastime is slipping a lot, and the TV ratings the last 20 years confirm that. I still feel that 32k is a too small. I’m not buying this more intimate line. If there was a demand for 50k, they’d build 50k parks like Yankee stadium. I don’t mind 25-28k in a 40k park. Enough to make a lot of noise, a little more breathing room, shorter lines and maybe easier traffic and parking.

  43. OT – Just a quick observation.
    We received our 2011 renewal notice in the mail today. The round Oakland A’s logo is noticably missing from the notice. In its place is the “A’s Green Collar Baseball” logo. As a matter of fact, other than the name appearing in the web address, there is very little reference made to the Oakland name. Is the transformation starting?

  44. @fc – I think you’re seeing something that isn’t there. The contact info near the top says “Oakland Athletics Baseball Company” in big caps.

  45. @ML – You may be right, but what you’re looking at is the cover letter which accompanied the invoice. I would think they’d still need to use their official letterhead when comes to the cover letter. I found it interesting though that they didn’t use their circular logo on the invoice.
    BTW, this brings up an interesting topic. Should the A’s move to San Jose, I wonder how they will handle the transitiion from “Oakland” to “San Jose”. I remember back when Nissan was Datsun. There was a lot of discussion on how the company would handle the name change. As I recall, the transition was done over the course of serveral years.

  46. @jk–so who do you expect to pay for those 12-15k of empty seats so that you can be more comfortable? A empty seat in an stadium, ballpark, or arena is a lost business opportunity—when your footing the bill with your own dollar you factor these things in–no different than most people who wouldn’t add a bunch of extra room on their house, at a significant cost, for the occassional guest..

  47. GoA’s- If SJ steals the A’s, after a few years at Cisco, get use to 12-15k empty seats during the week when they’re not in contention. So LW might as well make it 20k capacity. No, infact, lets make it just like Columbus, the best new ballpark in the US, at 10k seats. But make it for the SJ Giants, not the Oakland A’s.

  48. I’ve looked at some estimates of numbers and I can see how that it’s more profitable on paper to charge more per ticket for in a smaller capacity stadium based on current attendance numbers in MLB. In reality though, it may not be all that great a business decision. In moving south, the A’s are already going to have a PR problem with many, if not most, A’s fans about the move. Some fans will resent that they are losing the A’s to a more affluent community. Making a 32K “exclusive” ballpark will only reinforce that resentment, resulting in a loss even more Oakland A’s fans. I’m not even saying I want a 40K+ stadium. I’m still talking about the smallest park in the league. Just 36-38K instead of 32-34K. I don’t think that is asking too much.
    One more thing to take into consideration: by 2020, based on average increases in attendance over the years, the MLB average will be ~36,000. It’s expected that in the first few years after Cisco opens the attendance will be higher and then settle in. So, a 36K ballpark might still accomplish the goal of selling out every game.

  49. Jk,
    12-15k empty seats at a SJ Cisco Field would still be more than they’re getting now at the Coliseum!

  50. GJ10,
    You assume that most A’s fans that actually reside out of Oakland will five a damn.
    Some, as you suggest, may and will resent the move to SJ (jk, David to name a few).
    But what about the rest, especially from southern Alameda Co. And Tri-Valley? I’d bet you most of them just want a new yard, regardless if its SJ or Oak.
    And don’t forget about us A’s fans in the South Bay. Everything will work itself out GJ10.

  51. @jk–what facts you using—San Jose has supported the Sharks during their great seasons and during their weak seasons—your drawing a correlation to how Oakland supports their teams whether it be the Raiders or the A’s—sorry–but SJ is different than Oakland–

  52. @GoA’s–and the W’s have been well supported for years in Oakland, through way more bad seasons and less good seasons than the Sharks. Why would they be sold for 450 mill, and ownership commenting about the great fans? Two baseball teams in the area is a whole different animal, and both the A;s and have G’s have struggled to draw at times. The new park in SF has helped the G’s tremendously, and a new park in Oak can do a similar thing. The Raiders before they left for LA sold out often in Oak. The 49ers kicked ass during their absence and it’s been a struggle for the R’s since their return. The remodeled Coli isn’t that great for football either. A new venue will really help their future in Oak.

  53. @jk–your circular arguments are always quite amusing–you claim that attendance will suffer in SJ but will thrive in Oakland–even though there are many years of history when the A’s were playing in what was considered a very good ballpark, where the A’s attendance was pretty horrible—a new ballpark will always help in attendance–and SJ has the demographics, both corporate and economic, that support a team through good and bad.

    Relative to the W’s–the new owners have made it pretty clear with the change in uni’s and the talk about an arena in SF where they want to go—not alot more to say about that–

  54. @GoA’s–i didn’t say they would suffer in SJ. They’ll do good in most years, but won’t sellout for 10 years straight like you guys think. And Oakland will have some off years where they’d struggle and get 17-20k on a weekday, but the 5k-10k games I think wouldn’t happen like in the past. Hec, I’ve been to games in the late 70’s that drew barely 1000. If we saw 5-6k, we were happy!

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