Coliseum City Draft EIR and Specific Plan to be released Friday 8/22

Update 8/22 2:00 PM – The documents are out.

The City of Oakland posted a Notice of Availability for the long-awaited Coliseum City EIR draft. Sometime tomorrow you can expect to find the EIR and the Specific Plan for the project here (#23).

The two documents have very different goals. The Environmental Impact Report is meant to show the various impacts the project would have on local resources. The Specific Plan is a long-range document designed to show how the project will be built out. In this case, the Specific Plan will cover 25 years of planning, with the focus on details such as building heights, setbacks, and streetscapes (this outline explains how SPs are constructed). EIRs generally do not include cost estimates, they will show what facets of the project will incur costs. From there it’s up to public agencies (Caltrans, CAPUC, etc.) or private interests to give the actual estimates. That’s part of the back-and-forth that occurs as part of the process. Specific Plan should include the infrastructure cost estimates made available earlier in the spring, with the potential for revisions or additional figures.

I’ll make every attempt to distill the facts in each document. Still, I highly recommend reading at least the Executive Summary of both documents. Big issues will be explained, and if you want to take a deep dive you can go into the sections. I will have my eye on several key matters:

  • The additional cost to demolish the Coliseum, which wasn’t in the infrastructure estimate
  • Comparison of alternatives and a possible recommended alternative
  • Parking study to contrast current use with partial and full buildout
  • Potential showstoppers

As is customary, there will be a public comment period immediately upon the EIR’s release. That 45-day comment period will last until October 6. Staff will compile the comments and formulate responses, not just from individual citizens, but also companies, those aforementioned public agencies, and other interested parties. Once those responses are compiled, staff will work on the Final EIR. When the Final EIR is released, it will also be subject to a comment period, then certification (assuming there are no showstoppers).

Two hearings are scheduled for public comments:

  • Monday, September 8, 6 PM – Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board Hearing at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 1
  • Wednesday, October 1, 6 PM – Planning Commission Hearing at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 1

I’m gonna try to cover everything over the weekend. Some of it will be terribly boring or even potentially irrelevant. I’ll be at the game Sunday with a group of friends, so if you want to talk EIR during the game let me know.

43 thoughts on “Coliseum City Draft EIR and Specific Plan to be released Friday 8/22

  1. what are “showstoppers”? Finding Indian bones underneath the Coliseum?

  2. I’m guessing the EIR can be used for any major project at the coliseum site (for a certain length of time), I’m thinking about a hopeful A’s (Wolff), development of course with or without the Raiders, but does anyone know, if any information in the “specific plan”, can or should be used for a potential future A’s development, or is a specific plan even a governmental requirement, thanks and pardon the general ignorance on the subject.

  3. question for whomever might know the answer–all the oakland pols are saying no way will they provide public assistance–even though of course free land is public assistance. But regardless, doesn’t the NFL require a minimum level of public assistance to have access to their G money? I believe thats why Santa Clara had to kick in $100M? anyone know for sure?

    • Yes, the NFL requires direct public assistance to utilize G4 funding. It’s yet another reason the Raiders stadium has been dead since it was proposed.

      And no land doesn’t count because land isn’t direct public assistance no matter how much people like Neil DeMause may try and claim it is. If it were no one would tout AT&T Park as a private stadium.

      • That’s PR speak. Privately financed isn’t the same as 100% no public resources involved. Land absolutely is a real and direct public subsidy. It’s just a lot smarter than backing bonds and funneling cash directly to sports teams (or any business for that matter). Give them land, work on tax producing development. win/win.

      • I agree I wish Neil would shut the hell about about land deals to sports teams. Anyway I feel the city of Oakland an L.A should offer land deals. Also the Raiders are going anywhere

  4. So no public assistance (as in $$ from Oakland) really reduces the dollars potentially raised for the stadium to $200 million from the Raiders, since the NFL wouldn’t kick in $200 million. And we can probably ascertain that the Raiders’ $200 million already would include naming rights, sponsorships, suite sales. Looks like they’re 20% of the way there to a new Raiders stadium in Oakland.

    • If that’s Davis idea of finding a stadium, he should have left for San Antonio a long time ago, because Oakland has no money and LA fills they should not have to spend it. (They are probably right)

  5. If Davis wants his own stadium and to keep control of the team and not share a stadium, San Antonio may be his only option.

  6. That pic tweeted out notes “3 new professional sports venues”.

    Are they literally retarded?

    • 1 pic for over 3000 pages, it covers all aspects 1,2,3 venues what has been said all along but people like to ignore the facts on here.

      • I understand covering alternatives. But at this point it is crystal clear that 3 venues is impossible. The Warriors are gone. Period. Preparing a 2-venue alternative makes sense because there’s a very outside shot at that happening. And obviously making a 1-venue alternative makes sense. But all they’ve done by preparing a 3-venue alternative is waste a massive amount of time and energy on something that has precisely zero chance of happening.

      • SMG. they were tasked with this before the Warriors even made their first deal with SF. It’s not about the expectation *today* that there could be three venues, but more about the hope a year or so ago that they could. Why would they remove it now when a) they were already paid to do it with it and b) the work for it was done.

  7. 3 venues because Oakland will not concede that any of the teams are leaving. It’s this reckless pursuit of an unrealistic goal ($2 billion worth of new facilities for three teams, sans any taxpayer money) that could have them losing all three teams. Oakland should recognize the Warriors are gone, that a new Raiders stadium is simply unrealistic and that the best bet is to hold on to the A’s.

  8. It’s not all about the warriors its about attracting other teams, events, etc. New area or keeping the old area it has to be cover. This was said in the very beginning and still is being said. This is a huge project biggest urban development in C.A history, reason why it’s 3300+ pages. When is the last time a city like this had a EIR that big. They are literally developing a city with this plan. If it gets going so why limit or stop a certain project because it wasn’t covered in the EIR. Truth be told its not about the venues from my talking to the developers, there important to the city and the view of the whole project but even if there’s one team left, the other development will get built out in the future. For the time and energy you say wasted, it’s done already, maybe a few tweaks to it for the final EIR but all of the complaints from members on this bard about why it’s taking so long and didn’t wanna believe there’s a reason but the “City stalling.” Here is the answer a huge project out of the scope of anyone on here, the long waiting at least has come and within the next few months we will have a even clearer understanding with MD has to make a decision, and Lew will have to make a decision.

    • @ K
      Hay, I have a question for you, assuming that Davis and Wolff are both serious about getting something done, would you rather see the JPA/Oakland continue with the Bay IG, or allow there exclusive negotiation rights, to come to a close and allow Wolff to be the lead developer. It seems like Wolff won’t participate unless he has control over the project, and I’m sort of thinking it really would not matter much to Davis who is in control of the project, as long as he can get a stadium.
      That being said I don’t know if it’s even possible, I realize that’s not an easy question, but as a Pro-Oakland fan that would like to see both the A’s and Raiders accommodated (if possible), I’m not sure if either Wolff or Davis is serious about Oakland, anyway I was just wondering what your fill for the situation is, after all we are all just reading tealeaves.

      • If Lew is serious, I would be fine with giving him the 200 or so acres for his dev as a sports fan. But for the better of the city and area, I have to go with BayIG. Not a knock on Lew but his plan is and will be specific to maximizing his profit from him no one else. No one to blame that’s his job. But being able to have input and work with the residents and city for a bigger view and understanding the demographic is what BayIG is hired for. it’s kinda like a catch 22, as a A’s fan I want it done, but as a person from Oakland and understanding and what I feel would be best for the city that wouldn’t have anything to do with sports I believe BayIG is better. You are right MD just wants a stadium but he is playing that pr game, because we all know he has no where to go unless like I’ve said in the past to sell part of the team. We all know he has no $ so when it comes down to it he will sale his shares, to make it work, as Oakland will be the cheapest option for him. The funny thing is how mark is trying to play pr game with no leverage, such as last week in Oxnard the training camp thing about L.A, and his team met this week with the developers for CC and things are supposedly coming along and advancing.

      • @ K
        I actually brought up your name (handle); I think it was two post back. (Rethinking CC, with A’s in mind), anyway the information you mentioned some time ago, about a possible redo of the coliseum BART station (possible State funding for that), was really helpful.
        Its only one part of the possible project, none the less we are talking about something in the area of 150-200 million (guess), still a lot of money. I was not really sure if it would help cover any or all of a new walking bridge, from the station to the (hopefully a new) coliseum, but it’s a good example of how different tax money, from mutual agencies and levels, federal, state, county, city, or otherwise, is going to have to come in to help make this work on any level.

  9. As per the conceptual CC site pics tweeted out:

    1) Why would they think of putting a roof on a football stadium there? Roofs are for humidity and/or precipitation and Oakland has neither. Is the logic to be able to use it as convention space or do they just like the idea of wasting money?

    2) Why leave the existing arena at all, especially without other sports venues present? Do they actually believe it will compete well against SAP Center and the new Warriors Arena? The only way I could even remotely see that working is if they take the route that the LA Forum went. But that would largely preclude it from being used for anything other than concerts or other stage performances.

    • A domed venue could (IMO would) put the Bay Area in semi regular Final Four rotation. But that’s once every 7-8 years with most people staying in SF so I don’t see how it’s really worth it.

      But if that powers that be are going to insist on crazy talk, I’d prefer we talk about a smaller venue with a retractable roof that could provide good (as good as possible anyway) sight lines for basketball than a larger venue in the hopes of hosting multiple Super Bowls. Roof or no roof.

    • SMG,

      Oracle Arena is great and can easily compete with and surpass SAP Center. There is nothing wrong with that arena. The Warriors are just SF centric and believe their franchise is worth more in SF. It’s as simple as that. Anyone whose been inside Oracle and seen the luxury boxes, the luxurious club downstairs and sat in the incredibly comfortable seats knows Oracle is first class and far nicer than SAP Center which badly needs to be brought up to date. Oracle Arena was completely gutted and rebuilt back in 1997 while the Warriors played at SAP center during construction. So, in reality SAP Center is older than the renovated Oracle Arena. It’s a beautiful arena with direct Bart access in the very center of the Bay Area.

      • Oracle is losing a guaranteed 41 events per year. That is a massive blow to the economics of the arena.

      • Yes, completely gutted and retrofitted with narrow hallways, seats that practically touch the ceiling. The shell of the arena is nearly 50 years old; SAP, 21 years old.

      • The comparison that comes to mind is the New York metro area. The Izod center is a dated arena that lost both it pro teams, the Devils to the downtown Newark Prudential Center and the Nets to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Izod is only 7.6 miles (as the crow flies) from Prudential, 5.7 miles from Madison Square Garden, and 10.2 from Barclay’s, all of which are more appealing venues for events and have better economics.

        Pretty much the same goes for Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (which funnily enough is operated by SMG). It is losing the Islanders to Barclay’s. There’s a proposal to turn it into a concert venue like they did with the Forum in LA, but I don’t know if that’s going through.

        The point is that it is difficult for arenas without pro teams to survive economically, especially when they are in an area crowded with other arenas and other performance venues.

  10. a’s hiring 360 architect to design a park for the coliseum site?

    hopefully it looks something like the cisco field design in fremont. always liked that one of the most out of all the park designs other than that artist’s rendering of the howard terminal site with the cranes in the backdrop but that plan is going nowhere.

  11. Coliseum City is a massive 800 acre project which will transform this part of Oakland. When you consider how close this area is to the very center of the Bay Area, connectivity to the entire Bay Area and Silicon Valley via Bart, a brand new Oakland Airport Connector which will open in the fall, waterfront access, recreational access to hiking trails and boating at MLK Shoreline, possible Ferry access to Jack London Square and to the West Bay, and an Amtrak station near by, makes this site an incredible opportunity for Oakland and for any developer wiling and able to take on this project.

    The question is does Lew Wolff want the entire enchilada, and, can he digest the entire enchilada, or is he in this conversation simply to downsize this project and build his ballpark with a few acres of development while Oakland loses the Raiders, Warriors, and the opportunity for a transformative project.

    • I think that Mark Davis should work it out with Lew Wolff. That’s just my opinion. I hope Lew isn’t blowing smoke up on our rears.

  12. The A’s working with 360 on ballpark options, man I want to believe this is a real effort, but part of me thinks it’s dog and pony, please baseball gods, please…

    • You’re right, considering the past shenanigans by Wolff &Co. It’s very hard to believe this is just not another “attempt” by Wolff to prove his “good faith effort.”

      Who knows, maybe Wolff is now sincere. We’ll soon find out.

      • @Elmano – That “attempt” will cost Wolff $10 million. Maybe it’s just “shenanigans.” Or maybe you’re just a “hater” who wouldn’t know a “good-faith effort” if you saw one.

      • @ Elmano

        I think Wolff has “seen the light” in staying in Oakland. Though, I can be wrong.

      • @ John Marx

        I hope he has.

      • @ ML

        Wow, Wolff is going to spend up to 10 million dollars with 360? (coliseum site), that’s a lot of money to spend, if you’re not serious even for Wolff, and more money then Oakland or Davis have spent put together.
        Well hopefully he is, and if he isn’t I sure hope he gets San Jose.

      • That’s part of the lease. $10 million upfront from the developer of the Coliseum. He asked for it to be $20 million and the City talked him down. That’s how you show you’re willing to have skin in the game.

  13. The specific plan is a great way to approach development alternatives for large complex areas, and it incorporates a measure of flexibility so the city and developers can respond to the market and public. The EIR then studies the impacts of the total square footage of various uses, such as sports venues, office, retail, residential, and then identifies impacts such as traffic, parking, visual/design, noise, and stuff like air/water quality. A specific plan is not required but is a tool that allows the city to study options and mitigate impacts through the EIR while giving it some flexibility to change things around while staying within the overall development package and scope. It also streamlines the process a bit since once the EIR and actual development is approved and as long as it stays within the limits of the specific plan, no further environmental study is needed (unless someone wants to change it significantly beyond its original scope so that an amended plan and EIR is necessary.)

    So just because an arena for the Warriors may be shown, it doesn’t mean they have to build it — it can be changed to another entertainment venue or other type of use that generates similar traffic, parking, etc. (or less). The specific plan can also identify phasing of development so that it doesn’t need to built at one time.

    I hope that such a plan for the area can fly. It does have tremendous access and location with respect to the region, the airport, transportation but I am a little concerned about how it would relate to the existing sort of rundown surrounding area of heavy commercial/ industrial. They need to make it so people want to be there for other than sports events, although an A’s stadium would be a great anchor.

    I would support giving Lew a piece of the pie and let him do his ballpark-related development within the framework of a master development controlled by others.

  14. Even with a Bay Area economy recovered and thriving, Coliseum City in its original form will never work.

    -Too many moving parts, only owning 200 out of 600 acres is a big problem. That means only 1/3 of the land is city or county owned. If people do not want to sell then it comes down to eminent domain. For a ballpark alone that is one thing but to tell people to move their businesses for retail/housing? That would be tied up in court for years.

    -Not to mention Oakland has no where in their city to relocate these businesses. Another moving part no one wants to have a convo about. Oakland is a built out city where every block has a major component to it. Only Brooklyn Basin and the Coliseum are left for development. These businesses near the Coliseum have no where to go. Remind anyone of Coliseum North and Victory Court??

    -Oakland/Alameda County have to do this together for it to work. The infrastructure costs are in the 100s of millions and where is that $$ going to come from? Alameda County wants out and is willing to deal with Wolff but Oakland is not. Unless the two public entities come together nothing will happen.

    -Wolff will not sign on for this with BayIG period. He is a developer himself and if you put the “shoe on the other foot” no one in their right mind would either.

    -The Warriors are gone and the Raiders want a handout. Oakland refuses to acknowledge reality. Either put give a subsidy to the Raiders or give full rights of the Coliseum site to Wolff and move forward with one team.

    In reality, there is just too much going on for this to work with 1 team much less 2 teams. If you give Wolff the 200 acres currently under City/County control he will work his magic but the Raiders have to leave.

    Oakland cannot have “cheese with their wine”…..They need to pick one.

    • If it weren’t for the fact that sports franchises have an emotional pull on fans and are looked at as a source of community pride for Oakland, the reality of the situation is that the development on that land would be more valuable without any of the pro sports franchises. The emotional tug from these teams doesn’t really reflect their true economic effect on Oakland.

      Sports franchise really drain disposable income out of communities which otherwise would be spent no local restaurants, bars, theaters, small businesses etc.

      If sports teams were such a great economic benefit, Detroit would be the greatest and most prosperous city in the United States since they have all four major sports franchises.

      However, as fans of our local teams we become emotionally attached to these franchises for various reasons none of which really have anything do with logic or the local economy.

      Having said that, I want the Oakland A’s and Oakland Raiders to remain in Oakland strictly for civic pride and positive publicity for the city.

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