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What’s next for Oakland A’s ballpark proposal?

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OAKLAND – A’s proposal to build a 35,000-seat soccer field and develop real estate along the city’s waterfront cleared a stumbling block this week after the city’s planning commission signed off on it. environmental impact report, voted to recommend to the city that in the commission’s estimate the document complies with state law. But there are many other milestones ahead that will determine when and whether the project will be built.

So what’s next for the proposed project?

The city council will have to self-certify the environmental impact report. Certification is a requirement under the California Environmental Quality Act, which governs how municipalities deal with impacts to traffic, pollution and air quality, noise, and safety from such events. develop like this. While no date has been set for a vote on that, city and A officials said the City Council could vote on EIR certification as early as next month.

Also next month, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission will hold a public hearing on the revised Bay Plan, which guides the development of the area around the San Francisco Bay. The site where Person A is proposing to build and develop the ballpark is Howard Terminal, a former Port of Oakland property used for truck storage and other port operations. The BCDC will eventually have to approve the change to Howard Terminal’s designation as a “port priority use area” if the proposed project goes ahead. Later this year, the San Francisco Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission and the Port of Oakland will have to review the final plans for the ballpark project to ensure that it is compatible with port operations and to issue construction permits. built for the location.

The City Council will be tasked with approving changes to the general plan and master plan of the area to make room for 3,000 housing units, 1.5 million square meters of office space and 270,000 square meters of office space. retail space, as well as hotel rooms and the park that A. wants to build in Howard Terminal. It will also have to sign off on project financing terms that will govern what Person A is responsible for paying and what the city — or state and federal funds — will pay.

Person A has vowed to cover the cost of building the football field and other structures, but the team and the city are still looking for a deal to fund infrastructure, affordable housing, and benefits. community benefit of the project.

Group President Dave Kaval said Thursday the A and city representatives are meeting several times a week to negotiate terms and he expects the council to vote on it within the next four to six months. .

City leaders wanted Person A to designate at least 15% of the proposed 3,000 housing units as affordable and spend at least $50 million building affordable housing in areas elsewhere in Oakland. There is also the issue of who will fund the $400 million improvement of roads and sidewalks, drainage, utilities, and the construction of pedestrian bridges to bring people together. to and from the football field.

Kaval on Thursday said the city and A are still back and forth on those issues but would not elaborate on the specific terms the team currently wants. The team proposed last year that the city create special tax districts to cover the costs of infrastructure and affordable housing using only tax proceeds from the project. While city leaders support creating a tax district just for residential and commercial real estate to be built on Howard Terminal, where they can ensure the tax increase will come entirely from the development, they do not want to expand the tax district into the surrounding area already full of businesses and houses.

Instead, city officials are exploring ways to fill any funding gaps using state or federal infrastructure funds. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors had contemplated signaling its intention to join the city in creating a special financial district that would help pay for the improvements, but its support was lukewarm and unsupported. constraint. County supervisors said they would do their own financial analysis before jumping in.

Kaval said Thursday he hopes the county decision will affect how the development deal plays out. The supervisors have yet to schedule a public meeting on the matter.

For the other steps in the process, the project will also need to be approved by the state’s Department of Poison Control and approved by the State Land Commission.

It’s hard to say when the shovel might hit the ground, if a ballpark project at Howard Terminal is fully approved. A’s lease on their current home, the Oakland Coliseum, goes into effect in 2024.

But the future of Zone A in Oakland is far from agreed. Over the past year, the team has threatened to move to Las Vegas if the Howard Terminal project is not approved or even if the city takes too long to implement.

Kaval said Thursday the team is in talks with a number of property owners in and around Las Vegas about potential locations for the ballpark.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/01/20/whats-next-for-the-as-waterfront-ballpark-proposal/ What’s next for Oakland A’s ballpark proposal?

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