New City’s Floyd Kephart hung out in the comments briefly today. He was gracious enough to take the time to respond to the previous post and some of the comments. I’m posting his entire comment here:
I will try an answer some of the questions and respond to some of the comments from this morning. Yes, this is the “real” Floyd Kephart. Who would want to be me anyway:-)There cannot be a “deal” discussion until the City and County agree on a process that can result in a proposal being submitted to the City and County legislative bodies for approval. We (including the Mayor Schaaff and President of the Board of Supervisors, Haggerty) are working to put that process in place but it is not there yet.
The Master Plan and the DEIR covers 800 acres and that has not changed. The 3 sports teams and most of the publicly owned land are contained in the approximate 200 acres that comprises Phase 1 of the development plan being considered. This has not changed nor has the land shrunk even though it is occasionally engulfed in water.
The Transit Hub is a major reason the Coliseum district is a potentially viable project, The expansion and full utilization of BART is necessary for any investment to be made….by anyone.
The documents submitted by us to date that are final are available and those that are being created or reviewed and still purely analytical to establish actual facts are not. We are trying to establish real facts instead of those continuing to be made up or have become anecdotal and not real so the City, County and yes, New City can make a rational decision on what can be done and under what circumstances.
No one has submitted any proposal that details a development plan and probably won’t until there is a negotiating group on the public side with whom to submit such a plan for consideration.
I am not sharing our considerations or decision making factors during the discussion stage with anyone that is not a principal in the transaction and that leaves you out of that distribution Marine Layer. Once we have something that can be considered by the public, it will be presented for you to analysis and report accordingly. Until then………I will continue to attempt and correct misstatements of fact although my time to review the various press reports and blogs are limited. This morning I just happened to be on line when the post went up.
As for my PR or lack thereof, my intent is to not embarrass myself or the City of Oakland.
Hope this helps clarify some of the situation.
The EIR and Specific Plan were presented as an 800-acre plan at the outset. That parameter is effectively locked in, thanks to language in the document that limits the number and types of alternatives. As noted previously, even the “Reduced Development” alternative doesn’t reduce the amount of land used, instead limiting building heights to reduce density. All of this was done in the name of the economic feasibility of the project.
Yet Kephart’s own action in December alludes to a different type of reduced development, only 200 acres. And Mayor Schaaf herself referenced 120 acres, not 200 or 800. The process may be talking 800, but the real talk is about much, much less. Anyone who follows urban planning knows full well how projects get down scaled once they hit reality. That reality, as you might guess, is the market.
Again, thanks to Floyd Kephart for his contribution today. With that I can say, job done. 😉