The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Oakland A’s proposed stadium, residential and commercial development to rise on the 50-acre-plus Howard Terminal site has just been released by Oakland’s Planning Department along with a refined set of plans for the proposed development and a few important footnotes and revisions.

As further refined and newly rendered by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the proposed development could now yield a 35,000-seat ballpark; up to 3,000 residential units; up to 1.5 million square feet of commercial space (including but not limited to, general administrative and professional offices and life sciences/research space); up to 270,000 square feet of retail (including restaurants, bars and entertainment venues); a hotel or hotels with up to 400 rooms; a performance venue with a capacity for up to 3,500 individuals; over 18 acres of privately owned, publicly accessible open spaces; and parking for 8,900 cars, with buildings now rising up to 600 feet in height.

The proposed gondola connection between the ballpark and Downtown Oakland is no longer a core part of the proposed project, however, but rather a potential “variant,” “that may not be possible to incorporate within the Project due to cost, feasibility, and other factors.”

Another potential variant would yield a new mixed-use building upon the site of the adjacent Peaker Power Plant’s fuel tank site as well, a development which would be enabled by converting the existing plant from jet fuel electric turbines to battery storage.

A public hearing on the DEIR is slated to be held on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, after which the City will prepare responses to all comments received on the environmental analysis, revise the Draft EIR as necessary and then present the revised EIR, along with the comments and responses to Oakland’s City Council for certification.  But keep in mind there are a few other approvals needed, on top of a development agreement being negotiated, before the project could break ground.

Regardless, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Neighborhood Character

    It’s completely insane that this development is being proposed instead of redeveloping the Oakland Coliseum site, and I’m 100% against this receiving any public money. The Coliseum site is much, much more easily accessible via Bart, which is a lot better connected to the rest of the Bay than Amtrak in JL.

    This site is a mile away from the nearest Bart station!

    • Posted by Miraloma Man

      The walk from 12th Street BART to Jack London Square isn’t too far and the terrain is dead flat. The only bad parts is that it is grimy, dark, and intimidating going under 880, especially at night. Maybe some kind of shuttle is in order? Also, there’s always the ferry!

      • Posted by PortreroDogpatch

        I agree. FWIW, the walking distance from Embarcadero BART to Oracle Park is 1.2 miles, and thousands of Giants fans make the trek on foot during game days (pre-COVID, of course). The distance from 12th Street BART to the proposed stadium is 0.8 miles, according to the EIR. Of course, one can argue that the walk along SF’s Embarcadero is much more pleasant, but there’s a lot in the EIR around streetscape and pedestrian right-of-way improvements to encourage walking to an A’s game.

        • Posted by Anonymous

          The difference is that you can transfer from BART to a Muni train that will take to right to the stadium along Embarcadero, and 1 block from the stadium to 4th & King via the Central Subway once it opens.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          If you’ve ever been to a Giants game you know that thousands of people walk along the Embarcadero. If they can walk 1.2 miles, why couldn’t they walk .8 miles?

    • Posted by Alex

      There’s a ferry stop right next to this. The people that decide to live here will probably map out their commute. Eventually the Coliseum site will be redeveloped as well, but this looks like a fantastic waterfront project.

      • Posted by Anonymous

        The DEIR indicates a pretty low percentage of estimated attendance would come from San Mateo, San Francisco, and Marin Counties. While the ferry would be a theoretically good option, it would in practice not get much use by fans, even compared to what the Giants get from the ferry.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      They also have a plan drawn up for the Coliseum site to redevelop it. There are also development entitlements from previous stadium efforts at the Coliseum site. I agree that the Coliseum site is a much better fit for not only a new stadium, but also for new development in general. I suspect a portion of Howard Terminal will be redeveloped eventually, but after having closely followed the A’s stadium efforts for the past 15 years, I am *extremely* skeptical that a new waterfront stadium will end up being a part of it.

    • Posted by Hayes Valley Denizen

      They need an alternative location before the coliseum site can really redevelop, and even then it’s too remote for a serious retail forward play to work. The whole point of this is to create a new anchor in an area with significant but struggling retail – and it’s not a bad idea.

      The loss of immediately adjacent BART is a problem, but the connection between the coliseum bart station and the coliseum itself is brutal, with no real ability to do anything to soften it. This creates a strongly cohesive path of travel through down town oakland, enlivening an entire retail corridor in addition to the JLS impacts.

    • Posted by Ken m

      Big deal. Same nattering 20 yrs ago about Pac Bell being so far from BART/Downtown corridor.

      Worked out fine

      • Posted by Neighborhood Character

        Sounds like they have this all figured out then, no need to have taxpayers shell out money, or give them sweetheart deals on waterfront property owned by the public, right?

        • Posted by Ken m

          The only ones complaining are port companies. Sorry if I’m not inclined to consider their concerns as unbiased and community based

          • Posted by Anonymous

            How is the other side of the equation unbiased and “community based”? The vast majority of the neighborhood population in JLS has not been there long term.

  2. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    I’m not seeing the demand for 270,000 sq.ft. of retail in this somewhat isolated corner. 3000 residential units plus that office space will help but it isn’t enough to support more than a small fraction of that retail.

    • Posted by Hayes Valley Denizen

      The intent is to generate the demand with the project similar to what happened with China Basin,

    • Posted by Jamie

      Oakland is so under-retailed. If the right stores could appear, it can work. Oakland has no department stores and few clothing stores.

      Imagine a walkable Broadway Plaza/4th Street-esque shopping area anchored by a ballpark and housing.

  3. Posted by Miraloma Man

    The cranes are cool. Very Oakland.

  4. Posted by Anonymous

    There are a huge, huge amount of very real issues to work through with this plan, especially compared with the alternative of building at the Coliseum site. One that I really think a lot about is the railroad tracks running right in front of the site. Those present a pretty significant problem for safety and connectivity for pedestrians.

    • Posted by AlamedaRenter

      It’s like that at Safeco field in Seattle. The trains blowing their horns during a game can really add a positive to the fan noise.

      • Posted by Kyle S.

        Or the planes flying over Citi Field in Queens.

    • Posted by Zac

      The A’s can’t get this done. The current ownership can’t do this. See the A’s in another city one day.

      • Posted by Anonymous

        There’s no chance they’ll move under current or potential future ownership. They have an entitled stadium option on the table right now, they’re just choosing to pursue this other one because it has more sex appeal. There’s nowhere they could realistically move that makes business sense. MLB teams derive a ton of revenue from regional sports network TV contracts. The two networks that we get in the Bay Area extend to Hawaii, southern Oregon, western Nevada (Reno), and well to the south in California. Sharing that media market with the Giants is significantly more lucrative than having a smaller media market to themselves.

        • Posted by Zac

          I hope I’m wrong. I really Hope this get built. I love the A’s but they been talking about a new stadium for a decade (+)?
          I just don’t believe in the ownership. Maybe that’s just me.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            I feel like it’s been 20 years at least.

            I also hope this gets built. I love having the A’s in Oakland. I’m also doubtful of the ownership, plus dealing with Oakland and Alameda County doesn’t make their job easier, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

      • Posted by Ken m

        Honestly, outside of Montreal and they’re earmarking for the Rays, no other city has the investment or infrastructure (ballpark readiness) to go.

        This moving thing, it’s a lot of hot air.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          That’s a good point. One consequence of baseball’s expansion is that there are fewer and fewer plausible places for the A’s to go. I’m doubtful of Montreal.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      Yes, that is a safety concern. A few years ago someone (I think it was a band member performing at a club nearby) got hit by a train passing through JLS just a few blocks south. I think the best remediation is to create a two block long (long to make for a gentle slope) pedestrian crossing over the tracks. Even that is not a very good solution, but much better than that gondola idea.

      • Posted by Notcom

        And yet people are killed by Muni trains in front of [name-of-the-month] Park and no one seems to think that’s much of an issue.

        • Posted by Anonymous

          When is the last time someone was hit and killed by a Muni train in front of the ballpark or within a couple blocks of it, especially on game day? Serious question, because I think this is an extreme straw man.

          • Posted by Notcom

            The post had a link to the story but was edited out: anyway, William Brand, an ex-Tribune reporter was killed in 2009; (whether there ‘ve been others I don’t know). I’m not suggesting it’s a frequent occurrence: OTC, the point is more that even with heavy train service , no one seems very concerned about the safety of the park in SF….so yes, a seeming straw man.

      • Posted by Shonkin

        Dave Garibaldi and Marc van Wageningen of Tower of Power going into or out of Yoshi’s, walked onto the tracks, and were hit by a train. (Both survived.)

  5. Posted by Scott F

    This plan has 10 times the parking of Chase Center, but only twice the seats. Kill the excess parking. If you really need that much, you are underinvesting in transit (like the 12 and 51A that are already here), or it’s the wrong site, or both.

    • Posted by Pablito

      There are 3,000+ spaces in privately owned garages adjacent to the Chase Center available for night/ weekend games That’s in addition to 1,000 in the Chase Center basement. So this proposal is about double. Which is probably about the right # for Oakland.

    • Posted by AlamedaRenter

      The 51A gets as close as Broadway and 8th…one block closer than the 12th St Bart stairs.

      Prepandemic I rode the 51A every work day for 3 years.

      Additional AC TRANSIT routes will need to be created or extended.

  6. Posted by Hancock

    This project would be a boon to JLS, West, and Downtown Oakland. But I can’t wrap my head around how the massive increase in car traffic would be handled. The site is perfect for walking, biking, and some busing, but hundreds or thousands of cars??? Well, the Draft EIR contains 250+ pages on “Transportation and Circulation.” Guess it’s time to hit the books!

    • Posted by Notcom

      You might study up on Youell Field, similar in capacity and not too far removed from this site…at least in terms of physical distance.

      • Posted by Alai

        So, uh, what lessons are we supposed to draw from this field that was removed in 1969?

        • Posted by Notcom

          Where people parked (w/o a large dedicated lot) and no I wasn’t suggesting it’s an exact parallel, only that it might be a starting point.

  7. Posted by Plugger

    Big respect to Bjarke Ingels for aligning the mound and home plate directly to the West. The setting sun in the batter’s eyes makes me think this will be more of a “Pitcher’s Park”

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Your directions are backwards.

      • Posted by Plugger

        Oh I see it now. Still seems like a dumpy view of fake cranes and the peninsula over the outfield.

        • Posted by Notcom

          Fake? The ones there now are very much “real;” I would think the plan is to just leave them ‘in situ’.
          (and Alameda hasn’t been a peninsula since…..1902)

  8. Posted by Martin

    If this goes forward, it’ll have an interesting impact on Link21 project for 2nd Caltrain/BART transbay tube. Capitol Corridor could go underground between Emeryville and Coliseum with a branch to SF transbay. While BART is more likely to get a stop on it’s way to Alameda and SF.

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