It’s gouging season

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a splendid Thanksgiving weekend.

I have another CBA article coming tomorrow. For now, there’s an item in the Merc’s Internal Affairs column today. Apparently, AT&T is holding out on their land for a a whopping $150 per square foot, or $6.5 million per acre. That’s roughly the market price in 2005, when the ballpark process started in earnest and the real estate market was still bubblicious.

Real estate professionals familiar with the industrial area chuckled heartily, saying that the AT&T land is worth closer to $25 to $35 a square foot.

AT&T and the other holdout landowner have every right to ask for as much as possible. It’s fair business for them, and there will be some displacement that needs to be addressed. The threat of eminent domain, coupled with MLB’s blessing, should bring the price down since those two factors will reduce the landowners’ leverage. As I’ve written before, the most likely outcome will be that the Wolff/Fisher group will make one offer once they get MLB’s approval and let the chips fall where they may. If the landowners want to get as much as possible they’ll want to avoid the possibility of eminent domain, since there’s always a chance a judge will give a minimal land valuation. Legal fees will only make the whole ordeal more wasteful. That said, the holdouts may have a threshold that they’re not willing to drop below, so it could very well go into eminent domain proceedings. There is no given at this point. We’ll just have to see how it plays out.

12 thoughts on “It’s gouging season

  1. Unrelated and kinda sad but my wife turns on the TV and it’s “Sex Slaves of Oakland” on NBC… Oakland just can’t catch a break.

  2. ATT is trying to make stupid $$ on something the city can use ED on. I am guessing the $150 per square foot is a starting point so that they can find a # that is far higher than $25-$35 as it is appraised for right now.

    ATT is also pissed at the city because they denied ATT to develop other land they owned in Downtown. Even greasing their skids with the re-zoning of land in West San Jose was just to get back at the city.

    ATT would be wise to bring that # down so it does not go to ED. In ED, the judge will see that a ballpark that will be used for public use is coming and will force ATT to sell for cheap.

    Let’s see how it turns out…..My guess is it goes to ED. ATT just does not like the city and there is bad blood there.

  3. If the city uses ED on the AT & T land, will they sell it back to the A’s and how is the price figured out?

  4. AT&T wants leverage with the city for zoning approval for cell towers. This is an issue the city can easily settle for free.

  5. at&t needs cell towers so the freaking iPhone get some reception….this is an issue but a minor one….what would the traffic be like on 87 once A’s move to San Jose…just bought a house in the alamaden valley

  6. Kabir, probably wouldn’t have much of an effect. 87’s afternoon commute is southbound. Anyone coming to the game from Almaden and other points south will be going northbound in the non commute direction. Where it’ll make an impact on 87 is north of the stadium site between 101 and downtown. Though I suspect more of the traffic to games will be coming down 880 and 680 (again both in the non-commute direction) if we’re to believe the Giants that there are no A’s fans in the south bay.

  7. @Dan, @Kabir:
    I worry about this too, as a commuter that already sits in traffic on 87 southbound in the evening to get to my home just past the stadium along Park Ave.
    the S-EIR traffic analysis by Hexagon showed impacts (Significant and Unavoidable) all around the 280/87 interchange (and on surface streets). This was based on a model for the A’s fanbase that took into account an exponential decay of attendance based on miles traveled.
    to Kabir: the bottleneck at the tail end of the evening commute southbound on 87 could very well depress property values in the Almaden valley and increase property values in say Campbell where people can more easily avoid it. I forgot how many 7PM games there are in a season, but you definitely would like to keep a schedule in your car (just like the people that live in China Basin).
    Also the S-EIR suggested several ways to alleviate, not all equally helpful. The promoting carpooling with FOUR OR MORE per car definitely stood out to me. Same goes for trying to increase transit use (and then the VTA piping up that they do not have funding to add extra trains).

  8. Bottleneck on 87 south depress housing values in Almaden Valley? That’s outrageous! Where the hell did you get that?! And again, majority of games will be in the evening (7ish), with commute traffic going in the opposite direction. Besides, most people in the south San Jose area will probably take light -rail to Diridon via Guadalupe and Campbell lines. Others will take Caltrain and utilize the Sharks model and disperse at lots in the downtown core. Will there still be traffic (ala AT&T Park in SF) for games at Cisco Field? You bet..and welcome to the big city!

  9. Yeah I hope my house price won’t tank because of the A’s…I love my A’s but house is my biggest investment…I truly hope that is not the case…I like the fact I can get to my seat in the shark tank in 20 minutes from my couch…was looking forward to the same with the A’s

  10. For anyone t suggest that property values will suffer because of a ballpark is quite a stretch- a vibrant city with many entertainment options will have the opposite effect and bolster the values of housing-

  11. @GoA’s,
    And those against the ballpark will lie by “quite a stretch” to try and get their point across.

  12. >>And those against the ballpark will lie by “quite a stretch” to try and get their point across.<<

    Sad but true. Winning or losing on the merits is never enough. I think arguing traffic is valid. Arguing the value of the cost to the city versus the benefit is valid. I am in favor of the A's in downtown SJ but understand there are those who disagree based on one or both of the points I just listed. However, it won't stop there. The win at any cost anti SJ faction will say housing values will plummet and Sj will be the west coast Detroit, crime will be tantamount to Escape from New York, city coffers will be so empty there will be money left only for a single volunteer firefighter battalion manned by moe larry and curly, traffic will be so bad you will leave work at 5pm and arrive at your home 2 miles away at midnight,……the hyperbole will get pretty awful.
    There are two important things to know from an impartial source: real city cost versus expected return, real traffic impact. If both can be shown, impartially, to be a financial positive and not a nightmare traffic creator, the anti A's to SJ will have a hard time defeating the move….imho.

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