Golden Gate Fields Aerial

The bankruptcy related auction of Golden Gate Fields over in the East Bay has been scheduled for February 25, 2010. The 130-acre property has been unsuccessfully targeted for development a number of times.

Residents in Albany, a city of 17,000, have resisted previous development proposals and in 1990 approved zoning laws that limit the land’s uses to live horse racing, sports or water-related commercial development, restaurants, bars and open space. Hotels and housing, for instance, are forbidden. Any change to the zoning must be approved by voters.

The property currently generates over a million dollars a year in taxes for Albany’s general fund. And while a recent community survey reveals that most resident’s “do not necessarily want to see a racetrack there” going forward, “the vast majority want to see the tax revenue retained at the same level” and “everyone would like to see more open space.”

San Mateo’s Bay Meadows racetrack was shuttered fifteen months ago and quickly razed to make way for an 82-acre mixed-use development including 1,171 residential units, 715,000 square feet of office space and 93,000 square feet of retail space.  Construction, however, has yet to commence.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by vapor

    Bay Meadows remains in redesign. Developer is currently phasing the project. The development is not dead as yet.

  2. Posted by chinanob

    translation: the voters of Albany, like voters everywhere in California, want something for nothing.

  3. Posted by Mole Man

    This isn’t about something for nothing, it is about being practical about what is the highest and best use. The access roads to this property can barely handle what is already there and there is little room for improvement. Many compatible uses can generate this kind of income with the existing zoning. Not every property is a good candidate for new residential or commercial development. Allocating some land for marginal uses like recreation increases the value of adjacent properties, in this case Albany residences and the Solano commercial corridor.

  4. Posted by chinanob

    I wonder if Mole Man lives in Albany near the racetrack?

Comments are closed.

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