Oakland A’s Refine Design for Proposed Waterfront DevelopmentFebruary 25, 2019
From the Oakland A’s President, Dave Kaval:
“Back in November, we were thrilled and humbled by the initial positive response to our preliminary concepts for the ballpark design. Fans and community members alike expressed excitement about the design. Since then, we’ve continued to meet with public officials, fans, and community members to gather more input and refine our designs.
One key update to our design: a more circular shape.”
According to Kaval, the refined geometry, as newly rendered above, offers “four key benefits” over BIG’s initial design:
- A better ability to capture fan energy inside the ballpark for a more exciting and intimate experience
- A continuous rooftop park for use by fans and the community
- Better views of the water and Oakland from inside the ballpark
- A more seamless, efficient, and fluid access to the ballpark from the surrounding neighborhood”
The design for the surrounding office and residential development has changed as well, from futuristic to contemporary.
And once again, in an attempt to mitigate some of the aforementioned access/transportation issues surrounding the proposed development on the city’s 55-acre Howard Terminal site, the A’s continue to champion the development of a proposed gondola from Washington and 10th Streets, near Oakland’s 12th Street BART Station, to Water and Washington Street, in Jack London Square, adjacent to the ballpark site. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
I like how it’s not the retro design that was great when the first ballparks were built that way, but now are just too prevalent. This is different and new.
Well to state the obvious, this is still way more money than simply remodeling the existing site. Getting to and from here will be awful. Curved construction is significantly more expensive than the previous diamond iteration. The roof park will get VE’d. The gondola will get VE’d. People will expect to be able to drive here and will be sorely disappointed. Also the wind is going to get nasty.
“Remodeling” the Coliseum is clearly not an option. However, I still think building a new baseball-only ballpark with residential/commercial development at that site is preferable. I was surprised to see Commissioner Manfred recently gave his endorsement to the A’s’ plan. He is on record as recommending a “ballpark village” approach such as Atlanta’s Battery surrounding the Braves’ new Cobb County yard.
The irony there being that you could build a much bigger one, and with a lot more options for layout, at the Coliseum site.
Exactly. That’s why I’m surprised he came out in favor of Howard Terminal.
Well, to be fair, The Commissioner’s Office has also come out in favor of:
I may be mistaken about the latter, but definitely not the former (yes, someone born when that was announced will be starting high school soon)
So I think it’s safe to say their support doesn’t mean much (that and $8.50 will get you a cup of coffee somewhere)
Well, to be accurate, the “Commissioner’s Office” (the laughably inept operation of Bud Selig) and hands-on Manfred are two completely different things.
The occupant, yes, the Office, no.
Whether Manfred ends up better or not – and by how much – we’ll have to see (and yes, I’m not including the possibility of him being worse)
I think that depends a lot on how one defines “remodel”: if it just means painting the cinder-block and upgrading the troughs – well, perhaps not THAT drastic an idea – then probably not; but if you mean demoing the stands beyond the bases and building something better, then why not?
However much people – including the A’s themselves – insist the chimera of a new stadium will solve all their problems, the reality is new parks only “work” in other cities b/c the public paid for them.
Once debt service is subtracted from the new revenue stream(s) – assuming they’re actually larger than now – and the team could find itself little/no better off. The big obstacles – a successful team 10 miles away and a dud owner – are going to be the same.
Except PacBell/ATT/Oracle Park was paid for by the Giants. Proving that in the high cost of the Bay Area that the public does not have to pay for a sports park.
The Coliseum as it is has to go. It has the only playing field in the majors that lies below sea level. The locker rooms of course are even lower, which is why the sewers back up and the toilets overflow there so often.
Other than that, it was a pretty fair ball yard after the Traitors left, until they came back and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum management built Mount Davis. (Ugh!) Summer baseball is great on a baseball diamond but sucks on a field shared with a football team.
“the only playing field in the majors that lies below sea level”
If they were smart they could turn this into a marketing strategy: play games in wooden shoes – with cleats!! – or team up with the Rockies on games packages – Acme to Nadir if one weekend…on second thought…
The reality is the place was never that great – even before Mt. Davis – since it has the problems that are endemic to it: a lack of amenities outside the park and a circular design that puts may seats distant from the field (a c.1980 magazine article ranked it as “distant fifth”[of the 6 west coast parks]). But it could be better w/ more maintenance and some minor improvements, and that’s where lunkheaded ownership comes in – or doesn’t come in, as it were: supposedly they don’t want to spend anything b/c they only rent…great idea!! Don’t spend $150 for a plumber and let it ruin your apartment b/c “it’s landlord’s responsibility”; there are intelligent principles and then there’s stupid and cheap, and if this is the cleanout they want to die on i think they made a poor choice.
Every single structure, public space, high rise, pup tent, and dog house built in San Francisco and Oakland require “VE.” It is the law of physics in the self-contained universe known as, “The Bay Area Cities,” “The City,” “The Town,” “Oakland-esh,” yadda, yadda.
Have you any engineering sources to back your claims about the “nasty wind?” Likewise, on what, if anything, do you base your assessment about compulsory “driving” to the proposed site? My supposition is that you have no bona fide traffic studies upon which you base your assessment.
My estimation, based on your posted oeuvre so far, is that your generally negative-to-condescending views about Oakland suffice over any fact-based,contextually valid assessments. Tout ça change et toutes les choses comme ça…
There have literally been wind studies at the site. Do 10 seconds of Googling before going on another non-sensical, everything-is-a-cobspiracy-against-Oakland rant.
Big attitude and very little honesty is the way you’ve decided to go. Well, then, monsieur connard, you will get the response you have neither the honesty nor apparent cognitive ability to compose unaided, to wit:
1. Basic composition and argumentation rule: when making an argument, advancing a thesis, providing ancillary support, it behooves the writer––NOT the reader––to provide the citation/source material of his/her/their arguments.
2. Your “cobspiracy” cobbling of a white Right-winger’s racist take on what he or she thinks people of colour sound like instantly disqualifies you as a “disinterested” debater of any sort and actually places you in the category somewhere between “unseemly” and “disgusting.”
3. Learn the definition of “rant,” as my three-paragraph snark is not, by academic definition, a “rant” in either length, tone, or content.
4. The author in question, “Justin” has not addressed my pointed two pointed questions as to what valid sources––academic study, engineering analysis, state/city traffic review, etc.–– upon which he bases his “traffic” gambit.
5. My decided scepticism about “Justin’s” VE gambit, which, given the construction history of San Francisco, Oakland, and Marin since the neighborhood preservation and ecology movements arising in the mid-1960s, does not even rise to a valid “argument” deserves the snark it receives.
So do you, mec. Try harder, or you will find it rather trying vis-à-vis the ripostes and rebukes you will deservedly receive.
And nobody said anything about compulsory driving. You’re brazenly lying about that and the proof is just a single scroll up.
You’re “brazenly lying” that “proof” is just a single scroll up (a linked article that describes “transportation” and access issues in general terms, but nothing remotely akin to a comprehensive or even focused analysis on projected auto access v. public transportation and/or pedestrian or the possible combinations therein.
I can tell you that my 3rd story apartment gets hammered by wind.
I am actually a big Oakland booster because I live here and have for quite a while, long before $6 coffee and $35 men’s haircuts. I’m not as delusional as some on here but I still love this town.
What I was pointing out and which was obvious to everyone who’s head was exposed to sunlight, is that this is not going to end up anywhere near what they’re trying to sell it to be. The existing location is superior and a major remodel would be much much more cost effective.
The existing location is better?
There’s a bart station, Amtrak stop, easy access via freeway, all the major infrastructure already exists.
I can’t understand the generic claims that the existing site is superior. Superior for whom? Perhaps to the subset of fans that would feel more inconvenienced by traveling to the waterfront location? It’s certainly not superior for the one entity that truly matters, that is the A’s and their private financiers.
The very fact that they’re so invested into building at a site despite all the obstacles while accepting those risks shows how truly INFERIOR they believe the existing site to be. The existing site being the easier solution certainly does not make it superior.
To me, folks claiming they should simply build at the existing site don’t understand the importance of the location to attract excitement and investment, which is driven by the project being privately financed, which we should all be on board to support. Pushing to build at the existing site is pushing against the success of a privately financed stadium penciling out.
If you think this new location will have no impact and won’t require public financing for infrastructure changes you are truly naive. Simply ignoring the externalities because a private entity wants a vanity project location is pretty short sighted. The public has already invested significant funds in the existing site. Utilize it!
Public infrastructure money is going to be needed regardless of which site is selected, I never denied this. There’s an assumption that public infrastructure costs will have public benefits as well. In the case of the waterfront site, the investment would open up opportunities for the entire neighborhood. Sure, there’d be benefit with the existing site, which is why the A’s are proposing to develop that site too. But still, that doesn’t change the fact that the those funding this venture clearly see HT as the best option, a point that you glossed over. The mayor would agree as well. I think it’s safe to assume that any armchair critiques have already been considered into their risk analysis when deciding to still pursue the HT site, including the extra costs it would take to overcome the site’s shortcomings.
Yeah, why the pushback against remodeling the existing stadium? It was once considered pretty nice. And couldn’t they do it in the off season? Work 24/7. Spread it over 2 years if necessary. Come on, smart people can figure this out.
Justin, the closest weather station (KCAOAKLA189) to HT experiences an annual average wind speed of only 3 mph (elevation 11FT). The closest weather station to Oracle Park (KCASANFR1156) registers an average of 2mph (elevation 5FT). I hope this helps dissipate your nasty wind concerns.
Drooling!!! And I dont even like baseball!
Still all feels too hazy and soft-focus to have much of an opinion about, but I’m glad they got rid of the overscaled hobbit houses on the rooftop, and I’m still questioning the desirability of housing development next door to Schnitzer Steel (and far from next door to anything else except this stadium.)
I’m sure this ship has sailed, but how about instead of an expensive and insufficient gondola from not-quite 12th St, we just move this whole thing back to Victory Court?
A fellow (VC) fan….kewl!! It’s too bad that idea never gained any traction; I keep hoping setbacks w/ the other proposals might ignite interest with that spot, but so far the spark never does more that smolder.
Will fans be actually able to walk the circular park or will ADA access requirements kill that concept? Perhaps it can be closed during games, but how fun would it be to run around that park?
still an impossible design, with that 2-ft thick landscaped slab spanning 50 or feet.
while the design is nice to look at, i wish they would tap in to the immense architectural inspiration of raw steel structures that surround this site. the design looks like it could be a soccer stadium in Dubai or a cricket stadium in Sydney. it has no reference to the industrial grit of the area. what a shame.
until they come up with a colloquial architecture, it will always look like it came from outer space.
Ye, of little faith. We can make this work. In a nod to the new Bay Bridge, put a single stay in the middle of each round cutout and run cables down to the roof in a circle. I know, I know — now about those view blocking posts…
While, per archi bla bla, this redesign does evoke a bit of outer space, it’s still light years (get it!?) better than BIG’s last iteration.
But the better longterm play for Oakland is to take this design and build it at the Coliseum and use this project as a catalyst for other developers to build out the remaining Coliseum lots. Doing so will preserve productive working waterfront space while giving East Oakland a significant infusion of economic development.
Oakland is going to have the most beautiful ballpark and setting in MLB. The area has great public transportation with the 12th Street/City Center BART station a mere 3/4 of a mile up either Washington Street or Broadway. The JLS Amtrak station is less than 1/4 of a mile and 5 minute walk away and the Clay Street Ferry Terminal is a stones throw from the centerfield gate. This ballpark will also be walkable, accessed by bike or scooters, by the tens of thousands of residents in JLS, Old Oakland, Uptown, Chinatown, Lake Merritt, Adams Point, Grand Lake, etc.. For those who want to drive there are already multiple garages near JLS and all over downtown. More garages will be built like the three existing ones with footbridges over the train tracks.
SF political and media interests trying to derail this wonderful Oakland project will not succeed by trying to enlist environmental groups and Harbour Pilots with ridiculous “blinded by the lights” claims. SF will not succeed in trying to undermine Oakland on this. The ballpark will be built at Howard Terminal right next to beautiful Jack London Square where the luxury yachts already exist.
Why would / are SF political and media interests trying to derail this Oakland project? Where is the proof of your claim? Please provide a link(s)? (I won’t hold my breath.)
P.S. It’s nice to see that they’ve removed the luxury yachts from the latest renderings. If there’s something Oakland doesn’t need, it’s luxury yachts.
There are already plenty of yachts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars parked down towards Brooklyn Basin.
Is it just me or do the buildings feel like they are crowding around the ballpark now? I like how they step down towards the park as though they could be an additional deck of seating, but it feels like they ought to have more curves and cradle the park more clearly than they do. It just feels off.
better have a BART extension stop at it’s doorstep or it’ll just be a shinier version of what they already have (a place no one outside of Oakland goes to)
Is that some version of “irony?” Well, you’re right, “no one outside of Oakland” ever goes anywhere in Oakland…except the two million visitors, and rising, a year, spurred on by the lowly likes of the NYTimes, UK Express, Bon Appétit, National Graphic…
Hey, what do those losers and millions of tourist millennials know, amiright?
I dig your “blah-blah” riposte to the usual suspects and their condescending, trash-talk-Oakland-by-another-name, factually unsupported picayune pap.
But regarding your luxury-yachts-in-Oakland-not-needed, and all of that, I’m not certain I get the meaning: yachts and their affluent owners have existed in Oakland pretty much throughout Oakland’s early twentieth century rise its mid-century catastrophic fall, and its four-decades-in-the making overnight Flight of the Phoenix rise to darling of hipsters and any world media outlet looking for the Brooklyn-by-the-Bay/Rocky/Black Panther narrative.
Yadda, yadda, and all of that.
But all seriousness aside, Oakland has always had its wealthy nabes and families (the Kaisers were never exactly an “artisanal” family concern), and when the likes of a San Francisco, a NYC (and its “revived” Brooklyn), or, say, a London can “contain multitudes” of inequities, those cities get a free pass and curtsey from visiting peasant and minor aristocrat des provançes.
Oakland? Not so much. A trope is a trope, amiright? So the Town gets it for supposedly having no “There” and then gets it yet again for having too much “There.”
Yadda, yadda, indeed….
These latest renderings are taking this proposal in the opposite direction of where I think they actually want to go.
For all the harm it did, Loma Prieta undeniably also wrought some good too. Knocking the underpinnings out of the Embarcadero Freeway to the point the City finally took it down. So too, the Central [Freeway Parcels] resulting in the Octavia Blvd. Plan and resurgence of Hayes Valley.
Perhaps, nowhere greater than the Giants ultimate bayfront ballpark. In a last attempt at getting a new stadium built, Lurie and Agnos had put one final ballot measure on the November ’89 election (after Feinstein’s Prop W calling for a dispiriting design at 7th/Townsend had failed miserably a few years earlier and San Jose had also rejected him). The model was Kansas City’s Royal Stadium which was the newest MLB venue and, after a couple decades of disastrous “multipurpose” sporting palaces across the country, was the first new baseball-only park. Still, this was the sleekly sterile, concrete, moderne stadium built in the mid-sixties and not taday’s version which underwent extensive renovations several years ago to make it more fan-friendly. The team was doing well on its its way to a first World Series in recent memory and it seemed a cinch in the polls until the 10/17 temblor. It lost by a 1000+ votes and Lurie was ready to throw in the towel and ship the team to St. Pete.
Of course, along came McGowan and the new ownership group who ultimately obtained approval of their new plan for China Basin. What was so notable in the interim was the genius of Baltimore and HOK’s Camden Yard (which should be afforded immediate landmark status). It resulted in the wonderful experience we’ve been enjoying for 20 years starting in April.
Hate to say it, but what these latest BIG drawings remind of is that sleekly sterile, concrete building modeled upon Royals Stadium that never got built because of an earthquake.
UPDATE: Oakland A’s Secure Exclusive Right to Negotiate for Stadium Site
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