Matier & Ross: A’s select Peralta site for ballpark

Homemade rendering of possible ballpark blueprint

According to the Chronicle’s Matier and Ross, the A’s submitted a letter to the chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, indicating the team’s intent to enter negotiations on the district’s 13-acre headquarters next to Laney College.

According to @EastBay_Sports, that’s to be followed up by a 3:30 PM press conference at La Estrellita Cafe tomorrow, where the A’s will get the ball rolling.

Regardless of where you placed Peralta among the three candidate sites (Howard Terminal, Peralta, Coliseum), the A’s and A’s fans are now at the starting gate. Everything else was study, prep, and low-level politicking. Now comes the hard part. The A’s have to privately finance a ballpark in a city where no public money is available to subsidize it, where the real estate market has gone through the roof, and current residents are very concerned about gentrification. If the ownership group considers Avaya Stadium to be akin to a hike up Diablo, a ballpark is more like reaching the summit of Denali.

M&R provided some good info on what items the A’s and Peralta will negotiate, such as the 50,000 replacement square footage that the district will need. They’ll need to resolve that early in the process because the district can’t interrupt its operations because the A’s need to clear the site. A’s ownership could buy a building and lease out part of it to the district for free. As I’ve been saying years, the parties will need to get creative. I am surprised that the square footage requirement is only 50k. Compare that to Apple’s new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, which will encompass 2.8 million square feet.

East Bay Times’ David DeBolt got a copy of the letter from A’s President Dave Kaval to Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre.

There are so many details to work out, an EIR to start and finish, permits and approvals, what to do with the Coliseum, and the ever important private financing part. Just as with previous failed ballpark plans, I’ll cover it to the utmost, giving you the best analysis and commentary along the way to help you sort through the coming avalanche of information.

Let’s go.

38 thoughts on “Matier & Ross: A’s select Peralta site for ballpark

  1. Cautiously excited. Hoping the A’s stick with it, and work in good faith with the District and with the community, but fight for a good project and don’t bow to pure obstructionism. Already seeing Jean Quan’s daughter out in front of the “I’m going to fight this” camp. Curious what folks think the actual impacts on Chinatown would be. It’s the other way from Lake Merritt BART than to the stadium. I think the Eastlake would bear the greater impact, though they are less organized.

    • I hope part of the due diligence has been to figure out the best path to opposition.

      I honestly don’t understand the opposition, I mean I understand but I don’t think it makes logical sense. It’s similar to a lot of the “don’t build any new housing because housing is so expensive” attitude all over the Bay Area.

      If we don’t want any development because we don’t want displacement but we think it’s criminal what we have to pay to live here… something has to give.

    • *overcome opposition

  2. 2023 ? Kaval and the mayor have to find ways to shorten the process. Make it 2021. EIR should not take 2 yrs.

  3. We are down to two choices: Peralta vs Montreal

  4. I am thrilled this odyssey may finally be coming to a close. I will wait patiently since all previous attempts have fallen through. I know ML has done write up on the site. Guess I need to go back and read them all.

  5. A new ballpark in 6 years, unless there is opposition. Having a tough time getting excited about this.

  6. I’m hoping, and actually expecting, that Kaval and the A’s have done their due diligence in measuring the true level of opposition from locals at the Peralta site, and already have a plan for overcoming that opposition.

    I believe that the Peralta site has been their first choice all along, and most of the year has been engaging in the process of assessing the the opposition (and overcoming it), the costs, and the regulatory hurdles. The Coliseum site was always plan B, and most likely Howard Terminal was never really in true consideration (Candlestick like wind/cold, busy train tracks, site clean up, infrastructure costs, and transportation challenges – all too much to overcome).

    So, Peralta probably would not have been officially chosen unless Kaval/A’s have a lot of confidence in overcoming it’s challenges.

    Whenever any significant project is proposed in any city’s established neighborhood, there is always loud opposition. I’m guessing that this current loud opposition represents a minority and that many welcome the ballpark – many business owners have got to be loving the idea, same with many Laney students / faculty (more jobs and internships), and local homeowners (increases their property values).

    So I’m cautiously optimistic. I just hope it won’t take too terribly long.

    • They’re inviting CEQA lawsuits with this site. It seems like there are neighbors determined to fight this. So the A’s have to wage a fight with their new neighbors. Why not go to the path of least resistance? Unless the issue really is, they can’t get private financing for a Coliseum ballpark. So if it’s Laney or bust, we could be looking at the eventual departure of the A’s from the Bay Area if the neighbors gum up the process enough. And it’s certainly their right to not want the intrusion of an MLB ballpark in their midst.

  7. My thoughts are that although they have announced this “preferred site”, is that within a year or so, sometime when the Raider’s Las Vegas plans are finalized and they have signed a lease with LV, the A’s will announce that even though the Peralta site is their preferred site, there is too much opposition and that they have decided to build at the Coliseum site.

  8. MLB wants cities to bend over backwards for their teams – shower them with with love and, most importantly, big, big taxpayer dollars. Here, we have a ballpark that would be privately funded – a big no-no for MLB – and likely face fierce local opposition just the same. For a team with a half century of mostly poor attendance despite the cheapest ticket prices in the league. At what point does MLB say, baseball simply doesn’t work in Oakland?

  9. This is a huge test for Oakland. With two of its three major sport franchises already heading out of town, this is the last best chance to hold onto its only remaining sports franchise willing to stay in-town. Heck, the A’s are agreeing to completely privately fund the facility without any help from the Oakland/Alameda County taxpayers. If Oakland allows the local NIMBY’s to block the A’s from building their very own privately funded ballpark at the Oakland site of their own choosing, then Oakland doesn’t deserve to have any major sports team to call its own. By the way, I would not be surprised if the Giants have some hand in working behind the scenes in opposition to the Laney site.

    • I’d phrase it differently… If Oakland let’s NIMBY’s block a Ballpark downtown they have displayed that MLB is not a priority for them.

      The end result is the same, but it’s not about who deserves what.

  10. I just watched the video on Oakland Ballpark dot com… They have their ducks in a row. If it doesn’t happen here, it’s not happening in Oakland.

  11. …sounds like this councilman, Abel Guillen already has a list of roadblocks he may use to make it unfeasible to build there.

  12. Like the location but it will never happen–this needed to be a joint statement with A’s, Schaaf and Peralta all saying they were on the same page–you have opposition coming from the Peralta community, Schaaf is lukewarm–feeling like Fremont all over again—

    Coliseum will be the place–they have a couple of years to dick around with this site before canning it and can still meet the 2023 date to open in the parking lot

    • I’m certainly not discounting the opposition, but it’s not as if the A’s weren’t anticipating the NIMBYs. I’m highly impressed by the video; it addresses concerns straight on and offers solutions. My main question will be the cost as it appears that the A’s are bringing a LOT to the table above and beyond financing a new park.

      Kaval’s already has a massive head-start re community and civic-leader involvement. The video encapsulates this. They have also set aside considerable time for further outreach in their plan. He’s lined up allies. He has more to go, but it’s an excellent start.

      The other element that nobody’s yet mentioned. The A’s are being strategic, and are unified.. Re various local opposition, my bet is they are far less unified, organized, etc. Kaval’s bought a lot of trust and capital in a short amount of time. This cannot be overlooked.

      Re Mayor Schaaf… At this point she’s ‘testing the waters.’ I believe she wants this to succeed, but she can’t be as vocal (yet) due to the initial political challenges. My hope is that she’ll work behind the scenes to help the A’s achieve their goals.

      Not to be melodramatic, but the A’s have moved all of their chips into the pot. They are going ‘all in.’ It really boils down to “does the City of Oakland want to remain a major league sports town?” Kaval is the right man to get it across the line, but I also know that the town throws up road-blocks that most sports franchises wouldn’t put up with.

  13. Glad that they announced sooner rather than later. I will be interested in seeing the total price tag for the A’s. In addition to actually building the ballpark, they will have to make PCCD whole and mitigate impacts to Laney and the surrounding neighborhoods. The trick for Libby and the Council will be to determine what is necessary and reasonable for the A’s to do and what “infrastructure” money that the City can contribute.

    I hope it is not all negative. Certainly there will be impacts, but there will also be major positives if the A’s succeed. As usual, in the existing neighborhoods, there will be losers (people who are forced out) and winners (people who will make money) from this. They need to make sure that the people who will be impacted get their needs addressed. Oakland has a reputation of not being able to get nice things done — here is their chance to do it the right way. It would be ironic and sad if they lose this opportunity to breath new life into the area, as well as to the team and fans. The Coliseum site is a huge resource for housing and business plus whatever is best for that area and city.

    Dave Kaval is an amazing guy who gets it — I hope he can fulfill this dream for us.

    • Dave Kaval’s mentor is Lew Wolff…and the ballpark is proposed to be built with the A’s getting a cut of revenues from a redeveloped coli-site—that’s not Dave Kaval–that’s Lew Wolff–funny how few people get that–

    • This isn’t the Laney site. That’s across the street. The Peralta site requires no physical upheaval of Laney College other than the parking lot. That’s a big, important factor.

  14. “Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational NIMBY!”

  15. There seems to be a mistaken assumption on this thread that NIMBY’s always win. That simply isn’t the case, even in the Bay Area.

    Exhibit A: Santa Clara. The neighbors here had a far stronger argument than Peralta neighbors based on the suburban character of the neighborhood, inferior infrastructure, lesser benefit to the city and greater disruption inherent in a 70,000 seat venue. Nevertheless, you will notice there is currently a football stadium in Santa Clara.

    Exhibit B: Mission Bay (Warriors). Neighborhood opponents here had strong arguments (e.g. presence of a hospital) and were extremely well financed. Nevertheless, the Warriors stuck to their guns, won the fight and have now broken ground on their new arena.

    Fremont is not a great counter-example. We don’t know whether or not the A’s would have ultimately prevailed on the Warm Springs location; Lew Wolff simply didn’t have the stomach for that fight. But the A’s have different leadership now with greater motivation and fewer alternative options. And again, the arguments against a downtown ballpark are weaker than those against a suburban one.

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