With representatives of the student and faculty associations of Laney College having recently voted against allowing the Oakland Athletics to acquire the 13-acre parcel of community college-owned land at 333 East 8th Street, a little south of Lake Merritt in central Oakland and upon which the A’s had formally announced their plans to build a new Major League ballpark, the Peralta Community College District’s Board of Trustees has now directed the college’s Chancellor to “discontinue “community engagement” talks with the [A’s] and to instead focus on what’s best for the college and its students and faculty.”

From the office of the Chancellor this morning: “The District will work with its students, faculty, staff, administrators and community to reimagine the District’s needs and assess the resources to meet them. We will develop a robust and inclusive engagement process to assess our needs and partnerships aligned with our mission. The Board of Trustees will continue due diligence in determining the costs and benefits of potential development.”

In addition, concerns as to the potential impact of the proposed ballpark’s development with respect to the gentrification of surrounding neighborhoods has been gaining steam.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Dave

    If there is to be a second baseball stadium in the Bay Area it needs to be in the south Bay. Unfortunately the Giants are blocking a move of the A’s to San Jose. Despite the fact it makes sense for the region in terms of population center and growth. Just like HSR terminating in Oakland and not San Francisco makes regional sense. In both cases SF forces are blocking what is good/best for the Bay Area.

    • Posted by Frisco

      There are some nice wide-open locations near BART in Fremont, would make more sense than San Jose anyway.

      • Posted by Dave

        A south Bay location is ideal. It does not have to be SJ, though SJ wants the A’s. By 2035 SJ will likely have a larger population than SF and Oakland combined.. The population center is shifting south and east.

        • Posted by cfb

          no, the population center is not shifting south, at least not in any meaningful way. City limits and the populations contained with are pretty arbitrary, you can’t look at them alone…the SF-Oakland MSA and urban area have over twice the population of the SJ MSA/urban area.

          • Posted by Notcom

            You’re correct that the lines are arbitrary, but that also means the MSA’s are as well: the bottom of AlCo can just as easily access SJ as OAK, so it’s an “either/or” area.

            That having been said, OAK has much better access from BART/Freeways and an existing fan base…pitifully small tho it may be.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          San Jose is irrelevant because it’s impossible. The Giants have blocking rights from MLB. It’s never going to happen. Period.

        • Posted by Anon123

          Contra Costa + Alameda county has more population than Santa Clara county and their populations are growing just as fast.

          I still think the site of the Coliseum would make a lot of sense for the proposed stadium.

          • Posted by Dubs

            I have a feeling that MLB will step in if they can find a spot in Fremont or somewhere in that area. They don’t want the A’s moving right now, given how much the lower end of the MLB markets are struggling.

          • Posted by Notcom

            MLB doesn’t need to step in for “Fremont or somewhere in that area” as it’s in Alameda County. In fact you might recall there were two separate proposals for such a number of years ago, to the point that a sign was posted announcing the park.

        • Posted by zig

          San Jose is mostly a large suburb

          baseball parks are best in downtown adjacent areas so near downtown SJ or downtown Oakland and near public transit, offices and existing restaurants and bars would be best

          In a strip mall in Fremont would be a poor choice

    • Posted by E.Gonsalves

      The South Bay is a horrible sports area. The 49rs have been a disaster and play in an empty stadium. The San Jose Spartans don’t draw anyone. The SJ Giants don’t draw. The Sharks are no longer selling out, etc. What’s with this ongoing fallacy? Oakland and the East Bay are a huge and prosperous market. The building boom in Oakland is bigger than anything the city has ever seen. There are nearly 4,000 units under construction. Oakland is now a younger and wealthier. The A’s may end up at Howard Terminal even closer to the Giants.

      • Posted by Anon123

        You just went off the deep end. All sports franchises have their ups and downs, but their is no general down trend on the south bay sports franchises. However, that doesn’t mean that the A’s should move there.

        • Posted by E.Gonsalves

          Even Stanford which is Peninsula/South Bay has a tough time filling a 50,000 seat football stadium despite having great success on the field. Oakland is the best sports town in the Bay Area while also having the most loyal and passionate fans. Just take a look at how successful the Warriors have been in Oakland. The Raiders had a 14 year consecutive sell out streak before they moved to LA.

          • Posted by Notcom

            And a 21 year non sell-out streak since they moved back.

          • Posted by E.Gonsalves

            The Raiders have sold out the last few years. They tarped off Mount Davis and now have a streak of sold out games. It’s preposterous that anyone shows up to either the Raiders or Warriors considering how disloyal these franchises have been to fans in Oakland.

          • Posted by Anon123

            As any NFL franchise, the Raiders have a large fan base outside of the city that they are located in. Many of these fans will be happy to follow them to Las Vegas, and travel to Vegas will be easier for some of them. It matters more how they run their franchise – winning games fills the stadiums. Derek Carr fills stadiums 🙂

            Stanford could fill their stadium when they had an awesome coach; when said coach went to the 49ers they sold tickets – once they let him go things went downhill, not the move to a much nicer stadium.

    • Posted by zig

      there is no reason a ballpark can’t be in Oakland

  2. Posted by Sassy

    Having worked on the 2013 Laney Master Plan the college has a long list of deferred maintenance project items and new facility projects that have little or no funding. The As have offered a source of funding in exchange to build on the non-educationally used area. The conclusion is there is no benefit to the students and faculty. Okay…

  3. Posted by Adam

    Here’s a big idea: hasten the proposed tear-down of 980, install cut and cover trenches for future transportation tunnels (also already under discussion), and build the new ballpark near 7th street on the newly-vacant real estate. Finish up with an infill BART station at Market Street and fund the whole thing with real estate sales on the former 980 ROW. Four birds with one stone.

    Is it a massive undertaking? Sure. Is it possible? Why not?

    • Posted by jwb

      Interesting idea with the BART at Market. There isn’t currently anywhere near the intensity of land use that would justify such a thing. Infill near 14th Ave would surely take priority, based on the distance between existing stations and the higher density, which is double at 14th Ave and International compared to that at Market and 7th. But I like your ambitious style.

      Fact is the boom is over. Trump is driving the country straight to hell and Oakland, being on the margins of San Francisco’s building boom, will suffer the most and earliest. Many of the existing projects will be cancelled, even those that have already begun construction. Those hoping for a Chinatown renaissance centered around baseball are living in a fantasy.

      • Posted by BigTPopo

        The economic bump isn’t dead. It’s survived nearly a year of stupidity from our President so far…proving it’s staying power. Oakland has it’s own building boom and I doubt seriously that any project currently under construction (around ten or so in progress) will be abandoned. You are obviously not a “Pludded-In” reader jwb!

      • Posted by Tim E

        Read the tax the bill is all I have to add. The biggest winners will be Real Estate Developers & Trump/Kushner families of the world. A second real estate boom is coming whether it is needed or not because the windfall will be huge for those who know how to and have the resources to play it all compliments of the GOP

    • Posted by Notcom

      “Is it a massive undertaking? Sure. Is it possible? Why not?”

      No it’s not possible precisely b/c it’s a massive undertaking, and would make little sense.

      Editor: on a small note of correction, I believe the vote was actually of the Laney staff/faculty…at any rate, there’s not actually a “Peralta College”, that’s the name of the district.

      [Editor’s Note: Poorly shorthanded, since clarified, above.]

      • Posted by Adam

        The proposal to run a second transbay tube partially under the 980 ROW has been in talks for some time now, as has the removal of that stretch of freeway entirely, due to its noted lack of traffic vs. actual capacity. The problem as I see it is not that it makes little sense, but instead that the political will is lacking to get these necessary long-term projects started.

        The environmental and economic benefits to the city of Oakland should be obvious, and I simply note that some of this real estate would surely be large enough in footprint and near enough to downtown to house a ballpark. And a ballpark project with a short timeline might be just the catalyst needed to jumpstart the larger decades-long projects that Oakland will eventually need to undertake.

        • Posted by Notcom

          Let’s agree to avoid an extended discussion on the merits – or lack thereof – of de-980ing and just stick to the specifics of a stadium there:

          – a park needs a site about 600-700′ square – i.e. about 6 square block in DO’s grid – but the ROW is only 1 block wide, so I don’t see where the real estate would be (maybe for a bowling alley, not a ballpark)

          – the site – as you note – currently has no BART station nearby, and a new “fill- in” station would add ten$ (hundred$??) of million$ to the cost, in addition to whatever other operational challenges it would impose.

          • Posted by jwb

            To get a 700-foot-wide site you’d only have to encroach slightly on the economically useless strip mall at Market between 7th and 9th.

          • Posted by Pablito

            “encroach slightly on the economically useless strip mall”… Sigh. 1950’s redevelopment racism calling. The “economically useless” minority owners of the small businesses in the strip mall don’t want to be displaced. The “economically useless” people of color that purchase things from that strip mall don’t want to be displaced. Maybe we should propose closing Highway 13 so the stadium could be built in the “socially useless” Montclair district instead….

          • Posted by jwb

            Tax revenues are public records, Pablito. It’s not racist to point out that the strip mall and its perpetually empty parking lot are not paying the bills around here. The entire Montclair commercial district would fit on that parcel, and Montclair last year paid about fifteen times more property taxes that the four parcels on Market from 7th to 9th.

            All of the same commercial activity that current happens in that strip mall would still happen if you halved the size of the site.

          • Posted by jwb

            Oh, and I guess your going to call me a racist if I point out that 900 Market is a year in arrears on actually paying its property taxes.

          • Posted by Notcom

            It’s more like 21st Century Greenism – a weird marriage of economic naivete and militant “tell people how to live”ism – since the whole premise of this sub-thread was that 980 should be removed “due to its noted lack of traffic vs. actual capacity”; I would describe it as “the way freeways are meant to be” since – I freely admit – it isn’t jammed to a crawl every second, night and day, like many routes round these parts. But it still serves as a valuable access point for DO and as a detour rte when 880 is closed, and whether/not it SHOULD have been built, it WAS …spending ten$ (hundred$?) of million$ to remove something is not the same as not building it in the first place.

          • Posted by Pablito

            JWB, I’m sure your analysis of tax records is correct. But my personal planning values would be that people are more important than money or baseball stadiums. Yes, City’s have to have both people and money if they are to be successful – but that is not really the choice here – there are other sites.

            Oakland has over 100,000 people below the poverty line with real estate investments in east Oakland suffering because of decayed municipal infrastructure – to suggest spending 10’s of millions of tax dollars that we don’t have – to fill in a working freeway in good shape – and take out part of the neighborhood – so that the owners of the A’s can make more money – boggles my mind. 🙂 I certainly wouldn’t call it good planning. While I think our local government redevelopment agencies are inevitably racist – obviously I don’t know you, and am not presuming your are.

    • Posted by Dubs

      It’s actually a solid idea, the problem is going to be the same people who came out against gentrification in the other proposal are going to come out 10x harder if it’s in west oakland, even though it’s not actually gentrifying anything of note.

      • Posted by Pablito

        “not actually gentrifying anything of note” ?!?

        There are 8,300 housing units in West Oakland occupied by 25,500 people – 2/3rds of them under the federal poverty level. So…the opinion of 25,500 people doesn’t matter when compared to the chance to chow down on overcooked hotdogs and cheap beer? I dunno – I would not exactly call that a solid idea.

  4. Posted by Anonymous

    I still have this feeling that the A’s talk about the Laney/Peralta is a ploy to be able to fall back on the Coliseum site while extracting more favorable concessions for the site from the city/county.

    • Posted by Sassy

      If that’s the case the opponents have been played so well.

    • Posted by Elitist Pig

      That or it’s a ploy to show “good faith” negotiations to stay in Oakland so they have an excuse when they decide to move elsewhere. We tried, real hard, but it didn’t work… so long!

      • Posted by SFRealist

        In fairness, the A’s have been trying on and off for decades. Too bad for them, they’re trying to do business with the city of Oakland.

        • Posted by Notcom

          The “off” part may explain why the “on” never went anywhere: a belief the offers lacked sincerity and/or competence. But if you’re REALLY interested in “fairness”: Those efforts stopped almost a decade ago; and this current “doing business” wasn’t with Oakland, but an independent district.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Sooner or later the A’s will leave Oakland, which is too bad. They will move to a city that bends over backwards to get a baseball team.

          • Posted by E.Gonsalves

            Oakland is too good of a market. Young people with higher incomes are now flocking to Oakland. It’s now one of the top cities for millennials.

          • Posted by Anon123

            Not sure how many cities still bend over backwards for MLB – personally my priority of sports is:

            Football – NFL & College
            Sailing – big thumbs up to Americas Cup new format
            Team Handball – played in Europe and other places in the world
            Hockey
            Soccer
            NBA
            Tennis
            Beach Volleyball

            Curling
            Figure Skating
            Badminton
            Cricket
            Dog Races
            Baseball

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Baseball guarantees 81 games home per year, at least.

          • Posted by Anon123

            Yes, but I would rather attend one football game than any baseball game… that’s just one opinion, and there are still a lot of baseball fans around. I have been to baseball games though, just didn’t find it very exciting.

  5. Posted by Oracle of Alameda

    The Peralta Colleges are just playing hard to get. As a public entity on public land, they hardly have the final right to say no on any deal. If the A’s want the site, they’ll turn to the city and country and state to pressure Peralta to relocate for the good of the community.

    Community folks who complain about gentrification must be satisfied with living in depressed neighborhood with low rents. Faculty and staff unions are rubbing their hands together, waiting for the A’s to offer financial bumps. Today’s students won’t be around by the time a stadium opens.

    In the end, Laney College will benefit from all the people coming to the game. That will increase enrollment. The District will get new modern offices. Tech companies might start locating in Oakland. The whole downtown could potentially transform economically. The losers in that case are folks who must relocate to make room for progress.

    • Posted by Anon123

      Yeah, I don’t see it!
      The Coliseum already have the Bart connection, parking etc. If nobody can use it anymore, tear it down and let the A’s build a new stadium.

      • Posted by Mark F.

        Right, there is really no problem with building a new stadium on the current site. It’s the easiest and best option.

        • Posted by Sierrajeff

          Easiest, yes; best, no. People don’t want parking-lot suburbia-feeling stadiums, and a downtown stadium in Oakland could be a real boost for the city’s continued development and growth.

          • Posted by Tim E

            I have to agree 100% with what Sierrajeff said.

            What is sad and noted below is what the stadium proposal offers is to give revenue source to an underfunded college with deferred maintenance & other needs for land that is currently well underutilized & doesn’t benefit the students one way or another. Sorry but the board needs to be the adults in the room and let the kids pout & act like the kids they are.

          • Posted by Orland

            Any new stadium built on the Colosseum site would be accompanied by development of much of what is now parking lot. I assume the new ballpark would be built just south of the current facility to keep it as close/accessible to BART as possible.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      What the hell are you on about? How would a ballpark increase enrollment? How would it benefit a community college that has no commercial component? That makes less than zero sense.

      The second the A’s said they wanted to demolish part of a community college facility for a ballpark, they were asking for trouble.

      • Posted by Notcom

        And what are YOU about (??): the benefit would be the revenue stream/bundle that a lease/sale of the land would have provided; the “facility” that would be demolished – and relocated – is the District HQ and supply facility…there’s no particular reason it has to be next to Laney as there are several other colleges in the District and – obviously – none of them enjoy such proximity.

        As for “increasing enrollment”…yeah : sense < zero.

  6. Posted by Mutal Kudi

    It always seemed weird that the A’s would publicly announce their intentions to build at this location before making sure that the owners of the land were on board. I suspect the team is playing the long game, exhausting Oakland sites one by one so that in 2021 (when their revenue sharing money runs out) they can get MLB to authorize a move by claiming there are no Oakland options.

  7. Posted by Pablito

    Oakland ‘leadership’ is great at shooting itself in the foot. And since SF Giants ‘leadership’ are greedy and short sighted – willing to spite the Oakland A’s even if it costs them nothing – I too expect our region will lose the team to another more progressive City after 2021… Sigh….

  8. Posted by Newcomer

    Peralta site is best location in Oakland, it has that Wrigley Field neighborhood feel. Coliseum is a horrible site for a ballpark. It’s in the middle of a dilapidated warehouse wasteland.

    A’s will leave California is my guess. Stupid decision made by Peralta. Hopefully A’s double their offer and get the location.

  9. Posted by MKP

    is howard terminal still a viable option?

    the coliseum is terrible – no one wants a ballpark there, no one wants to go there, its simply trash.

    sad day in oakland.

    • Posted by Orland

      Howard Terminal has nothing but problems. The only reason it was ever suggested was some pipedream that it might emulate China Basin.

      • Posted by E.Gonsalves

        Problems? The same problems AT&T had except its closer to BART and has a beautiful developed area already filled with restaurants and marinas next door at Jack London Square. This area is way ahead of what China Basin was when the Giants broke ground.

  10. Posted by everett

    I keep hearing this idea of tearing down 980. When I worked for the Kansas DOT we would have to put together very detailed analysis just to make a break in access (interchange) to the interstate system and send the report to the Feds for their approval.

    I can’t imagine what it would take to remove an Interstate, how much time and cost. And then it would be Oakland’s to maintain and you see what condition Oakland’s roads are in. That’s after they build the appropriate infrastructure for a stadium. And where is the money coming from?

    You would have to figure all that out before even planning to construct the actual stadium. Also, that traffic from 980 would be diverted through the MacArthur maze, the state and the Feds would not be too excited about that. The A’s would be long gone before such a huge project would be complete even it if was feasible.

    • Posted by everett

      I was responded to Adam’s comment above regarding 980. What about 5th and Oak Street along side of Nimitz Freeway?

    • Posted by Pablito

      Welcome to the Bay Area Everett. We have some unique views on transportation planning.

      1. We like to reduce existing road capacity in the name of environmentalism, while ignoring the air pollution caused by congestion that results on the remaining routes.

      2. We don’t care what the Feds think unless they happen to agree with us.

      3. We don’t care how much it cost. We have far more money than common sense. Large projects like the Bay Bridge are so mismanaged as to be $6 billion over budget and there is zero talk about changing process or agency leadership.

      4. Keep an eye on the I-280 in SF. That one is not over yet… 🙂

      • Posted by everett

        Thanks for the welcome. I currently work at a local government transportation agency and the planners are quite imaginative.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Yes, welcome; but don’t waste your imagination on thoughts of either filling in 980 or building a stadium there: neither’s gonna happen.

      I believe the site you’re referring to as “5th and Oak” was – is – called Victory Court. Consideration of it was dropped a number of years ago, tho some people – i.e. me, myself and I – are hoping Laney’s (apparent) demise will encourage a reappraisal.

      • Posted by everett

        Again, thanks for the welcome. I have lived in the Bay area for a while now. In my post I was trying to say that I think it is a total waste of time and money pursuing the removal of 980. It will never happen, as you said. I think the Victory Court location may be the best location. I wonder why it isn’t being looked at as much as Howard Terminal.

      • Posted by everett

        It looks like Victory Court would be ideal. There are two freeway ramps adjacent to the south serving the southbound entrance and northbound exit of 880. There is a southbound exit ramp at Jackson Street a block north. It could be close to ferry access, and you could build up Jack London. The site is even close the Lake Merritt Station than the Laney site.

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