While the Oakland A’s have yet to ink a deal for building a new Major League Baseball stadium at Howard Terminal, a 50-acre waterfront site to the west of Jack London Square, Governor Jerry Brown has signed the Oakland Sports and Mixed-Use Project Bill (a.k.a. AB 734) which could expedite the A’s development of the site.

Similar to the Bill which Governor Brown signed to expedite development of the new Golden State Warriors arena in San Francisco, AB734 requires that any the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) based challenges of a proposed Howard Terminal stadium project be resolved within 270 days of a project’s approval, which isn’t guaranteed.

Keep in mind that any redevelopment of the waterfront site would still require approval from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the State Lands Commission and other regulatory agencies, not to mention the City of Oakland itself.

And once again, Lew Wolff, the current A’s chairman emeritus and co-owner of the team at the time, had characterized the redevelopment of Howard Terminal as being “as close to impossible as anything” back in 2013.

25 thoughts on “Governor Signs Bill to Expedite Oakland A’s Ballpark Development”
  1. Would they actually keep the cranes out on the waterfront? If so, would they be there for decor or hanging large banners/ads from or actually unloading ships unto trains below?

    1. Cranes are quite expensive, so I doubt they would be sitting there idle, but they wouldn’t be of any use since there would no longer be a container yard adjacent: in short this is a fantasy rendering, not an actual proposal (which also explains why the diamond is facing in a non-optimal way)

      1. “… diamond is facing in a non-optimal way…”

        Definitely not the MLB preferred which is largely in a south-easterly direction. More to the point, if they say China Basin is a homer desert, can you imagine trying to knock one out in the face of the still westerlies coming in off the Bay? 340′ “power allies,” anyone?

        1. This may be a dumb question, but is the south-eastern MLB preference just for this stadium and it’s wind? Or is it a nation-wide superstition thing?

  2. This is better than the current terrible outdated location surrounded by seas of parking lots, but maaaaan that site near lake merrit would have been way better.

    This is just far enough from BART to make it a bit of an inconvienence to take transit…..

    Which is ironic in that there are 3 BART stations close by….but just not quite close enough for an easy walk to the ballpark…….reality being it is not a nice walk around there…..like walking along the Embarcadero from BART to the Giants ballpark.

    But maybe this will drive a mega boom in that part of oakland. Maybe itll kick start the 2nd tube, or create an infill station.

    Once can dream right?

    1. The .5 mile distance between 12th st. Bart and Jack London Sq. could easily be bridged by a series 5 or 6 travelators like those connecting casinos in Vegas or neighborhoods in Hong Kong. It’s a flat area. It wouldn’t cost much. And, it would be a boon for connecting Jack London with downtown during business hours as well as solving the problem of BART to the new stadium. It would completely transform that strip into a commercial hub.

      I just wish planners would think more innovatively and come up with human/pedestrian centric designs. I agree without a solution to this, you’re going to have carmageddon around that area.

      1. From that drawing it almost appears closer to West Oakland BART.

        But yeah I’ve walking from 12th to Jack London Square many times it’s no big deal.

    2. MLB would currently be more supportive of the Coliseum site as that type of “ballpark village” development in suburban setting is what Commissioner Manfred encourages. See the Atlanta Braves “Battery” in Cobb County, GA.

    3. It’s actually really close to West Oakland Bart, but as you probably know that is one sketchy walk through a forsaken part of the city. A development on this scale would absolutely necessitate sidewalk improvements on every side so if a plan like this was executed properly it could change the landscape by finally making West Oakland feel more connected to Jack London.

    1. Yes, that would be the absolute most logical. Bring back light rail on Broadway starting from the 12th St. BART station to JLS. Then later extend rail up Broadway to Rockridge. As far as walking for the time being, I don’t know what is so bad about the walk past Old Oakland and the beautiful Victorians with all the shops, bars and restaurants, then under 880 to JLS with more bars and restaurants. This is a better location than Laney College for exactly that reason. The Broadway corridor and JLS would more than likely experience even more commercial development from this foot traffic. The empty retail shops in JLS could possibly finally start to fill up. And with so many more apartments/condos being built right now in the Amtrak station area, there is surely going to be a perfect storm if you add a new ballpark to the area. Even a modest ballpark. The area sells itself.

      1. The most logical is a renovation of the existing stadium. It is significantly cheaper and the very expensive infrastructure is already in place. You take out one side of the parking and develop that into housing/commercial. Win/win.

  3. Really, this just brings HT closer to the status that the Coliseum property already has. That is to say, the Coliseum site already has the necessary EIR and entitlements for stadium development, while HT still needs that. This bill increases the pace at which that entitlement either will or will not be obtained, which is a good thing in an of itself. Whichever site is ultimately built on, the result will be better than that septic tank they currently play in.

    My money is currently on the A’s choosing HT, realizing it’s too hard and/or will take too long, and ultimately building at the Coliseum while getting development rights to HT at some point in the future. But really, who knows?

    1. Quite. The Act, however, DOES suggest – by reason of omission – that Team Kaval has given up on the Peralta site (either that or they’re pursuing it quietly and don’t want the publicity that would have been attendant on including it along w/ HT…perhaps a wise move given the earlier difficulty)

  4. The ballpark will sit in the part of HT right next to the Clay Street Ferry Terminal. The walk from 12th Street BART, straight down Broadway with a right turn on Water Street is less than 3/4 of a mile to the proposed ballpark. The walk down Broadway or down Washington Street is a very nice and interesting urban walk. Nothing wrong with walking through Old Oakland and JLS to get to the ballpark. We will also have “ splash hits” into the estuary where the Potomac and the OFD boat are currently moored.

    1. This isn’t anywhere near verified. The best way to reduce the known wind patterns (not to mention get the best views) at the site is to face the field NE towards downtown and the hills.

  5. I agree, facing the ballpark northeast is the best configuration. This won’t preclude balls going into the water over the right field wall. The small inlet where the Potomac Presidential Yacht is moored, will be perfect for splash hits.

  6. Kaval has thrown out many hints in recent months that the A’s are heavily favoring Howard Terminal as the site they’ll choose for the new ballpark that will open hopefully by 2023.

    You can see this image he posted on instagram in the middle of an August meeting with the Bjarke Ingels Group design team in Boston that he had while he was on a ballpark tour of some ballparks on the east coast. On the napkin he has a sketch of what looks to be a ballpark along the waterfront at Howard Terminal with the ballpark facing southeast towards the estuary.

    Also according to those A’s fans who the org have invited to their JL square headquarters to talk about the new ballpark and the ideas fans would want in a new venue the strong feeling by many of the A’s fans including some family members of mine when discussing the ballpark and the questions the A’s staffers are asking are Howard Terminal centric or at least that’s that site they seem to be discussing more than the current coliseum site itself.

    A individual who runs a ballpark twitter page who has met Kaval himself sometime last month has relayed the message when discussing the new ballpark site the A’s told him that Howard Terminal according to wind studies they have done at the waterfront site that it actually has less wind and is warmer then the location that AT&T Park is at.

    Kaval even had the BIG design team go to the Howard Terminal site in mid July and all of them posted pictures of them at the location and on one of the cranes too.

    In contrast Kaval hasn’t made any indications thru pictures posted on social media of the coliseum location. Now it doesn’t mean Howard Terminal is a lock as things still could upend the final decision which they’re supposedly will announce by the end of 2018. But so far everything in recent days and especially the last few months has most who keep up with the A’s new ballpark saga believing that Howard Terminal at this moment as the heavy odds on favorite site the A’s will eventually choose for the the new ballpark for the A’s.

    1. This is waaaaay too much tea leaf reading. None of the studies commissioned by the A’s related to HT has ever been publicly released. Until that starts happening, it’s all just wishcasting based on the clear sex appeal gap (and practicality gap in the other direction) between the two sites. Recall that choosing a site and building on a site are not the same thing, something the A’s have experienced firsthand multiple times in the past decade or so, including in just the past year.

      1. If the A’s weren’t truly seriously thinking about Howard Terminal why go thru this entire process? Why announce publicly an opening day for the new ballpark in 2023 when everybody says a ballpark at the current coliseum is shovel ready right now. Seems like a 2023 timeline would give the team more than enough time to get a ballpark done near the waterfront.

        Why are the A’s on the verge of leasing a 30,000 square feet building that is 300 ft – 400 ft away from the Howard Terminal location according to an article almost a month ago?

        I’ll actually trust those who have talked with Kaval and the A’s staff these past few months about the ballpark than those who are standing on the sidelines that haven’t been associated with any ballpark dealings with the team itself in anyway.

        Call if tea leaf reading or wishful thinking. The signs I’ve been seeing and reading about for months now are pointing towards the A’s heavily favoring the Howard Terminal site for the ballpark.

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