The City of Anaheim is poised to give away development rights for virtually all of the land surrounding Angels Stadium in exchange for two simple things: the team staying in Anaheim, and the city no longer having to pay to maintain the old stadium. Is that too much to give? We’re about to find out in Orange County, and the same could be said in Oakland, where Colony Capital is being asked to provide hundreds of millions to bridge a funding gap at Coliseum City.
How big a funding gap? It depends on the scope of the project. Planning aspects of Coliseum City will be shown in presentation Monday to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Oakland City Council for discussion and a vote. The session will be held at 1:30 PM, which means that there probably won’t be many members of the public on hand.
Initially, the football stadium would be built along with needed infrastructure to support future development. Included would be transportation improvements, which indicates to me that they’re counting on the transit funding that was narrowly voted down in 2012. Stadium capacity remains within a broad range, and there’s no indication of whether it will have a retractable or fixed dome.
Phase II looks relatively modest, as it includes a lot of housing and limited retail (40,000 square feet). By comparison, Bay Street Emeryville has 382,000 square feet of retail and 400 housing units. It would commence in 2019, the year following the completion of the Raiders’ stadium. Also included would be a 220-room, 3.5 star hotel, signifying a mainstream brand such as Sheraton, Hilton, etc.
The final phase is most aggressive, as it likely anticipates a boom sufficient enough to make Phase III buildout feasible. Along with the ballpark there would be over 15,000 parking spaces (presumably in garages), an “Upscale” hotel, much more retail space, and nearly a million square feet of office towers. At any point one or more of these components could be removed or scaled back, which is often the case in such large projects. Since the A’s haven’t signed on with the project in any capacity, there’s no date for the ballpark’s opening. Also not included is the replacement arena, which is technically part of Area B from a planning standpoint (the focal Area A is the Coliseum and land east of 880).
We’ve covered the complexity of Coliseum City as a development project in the past. The presentation works to delineate the many issues. Compared to the DDA of the 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, Coliseum City is several orders of magnitude more complex. The big X factor is the $100+ million in remaining debt on Mt. Davis, which Mayor Quan and the City Council have said has to be baked into the new deal. There will be some sort land sale agreement that will invite scrutiny, as that’s a major key for the cost assessment for Colony Capital. Colony has some limited experience in the football realm, having recently partnered with the Chargers on their stalled (or failed depending on who you ask) plans in Downtown San Diego. This is an important framework from which many important questions about Coliseum City will be answered. Better late than never.