Oakland begins negotiations for future Coliseum – East Bay Times
OAKLAND – As the Oakland A’s promote their plan to leave East Oakland in favor of a new waterfront baseball stadium, city council has launched a process to begin negotiations with groups and individuals interested in buying the town’s share of the Coliseum house that the team will be leaving behind.
Council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday allowing the city administration to begin formal discussions with the five groups who have indicated they may want to purchase the site for developments including arenas, housing and campuses. business.
While the Coliseum site was jointly owned by Oakland and Alameda County, Alameda County agreed in 2019 to sell its share of the property to Oakland A for $ 85 million.
The A’s had previously explored building a new stadium at the site, where their current home is, but team and MLB officials have since said the only “viable” site in Oakland for them is at Howard Terminal, the port property where they proposed a mixed-use baseball stadium development awaiting city approval.
Now the city must decide what to do with the Coliseum complex, which consists of several plots over 100+ acres bounded by Interstate 880, Hegenberger Road, 66th Avenue, and San Leandro Street.
Several groups have offered the city “unsolicited” letters of interest to buy the city’s share of the property, according to Larry Gallegos, program manager in the city’s economic and workforce development office. .
Formally allowing the city administration to open negotiations with these groups – something the city council unanimously did at its meeting on Tuesday – marks a crucial step in moving forward with interested parties, said Gallegos. It also allows municipal staff to keep council informed of the state of real estate negotiations.
Among the groups interested in buying the city part of the Coliseum complex is the African American Sports and Entertainment Group, led by Oakland businessman and consultant Ray Bobbitt, former city manager Robert Bobb, the developer Alan Dones and sports agent Bill Duffy.
In partnership with African-American investment firm Loop Capital, the group wants to buy the property for $ 92.5 million and land a WNBA team in the arena portion of the site, in addition to creating a black business district, infusing housing in space and possibly bringing in a black-owned NFL team, Bobbitt said.
The board is expected to decide at its July 20 meeting whether to approve an exclusive bargaining deal with AASEG – a vote that has bothered other property contenders.
Former A pitcher Dave Stewart has also expressed interest in purchasing the property for $ 115 million, in partnership with Lonnie Murray, a certified players’ agent, and working with HKS Architects. The group has not released a full detailed plan for the site, but Stewart has indicated to media that the group will build a stadium for the As if the Howard Terminal plan is not approved and he too wants to bring a WNBA. team in Oakland.
Stewart, in a online social media posting and in a comment to city council at its Tuesday meeting, angered at the prospect of AASEG being considered at the July 20 meeting to negotiate “exclusively” terms with the city.
We “really want a transparent, fair, and equitable process so Oakland can choose what’s best based on the facts and viability,” Stewart wrote online.
Whichever buyer is chosen, they will have to negotiate the future of the space with the A’s, who should own the county’s share of the property. A’s are also considered one of five potential bidders for the Oakland share of the property.
The team’s vision for the site includes the construction of sports facilities, housing and parks.
Other groups courting the city for property include Tripp Development, led by California real estate developer Rick Tripp, former executive vice president Jim Bailey of the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens, and William Miller of the Baltimore Ravens. investment William Miller Associates.
And Floyd Kephart – the financial professional who once served as the city’s focal point for negotiations with the former Oakland Raiders over a new Coliseum stadium – has also expressed interest in the site, according to city staff.
Since there has not been a formal request period for interested parties to submit specific information, the scope and details of each group’s plan or level of interest are apparently varied.
“We haven’t made a formal request (RFP), which means we don’t have apples to apples,” said Loren Taylor, District 6 council member.
Treva Reid, a council member for District 7 in which the Colosseum is located, also expressed this concern and said the city had not done a good job so far in releasing information about the site to the public.
Residents and business owners, said Reid, “want to see the details.”
“We don’t want a rushed deal, we want the best deal,” she said.
City staff, in a note to council, said the city could potentially require different parties to provide more information as it considers evaluating the proposals.
Any proposal will also need to include certain community benefits which may include provisions such as union collective agreements, local employment requirements, environmental standards and open space and affordable housing.
“As a regional sports, entertainment and employment hub and destination, the property could generate thousands of high quality / paying jobs in growing industries such as biotechnology, life sciences, research and development, multimedia, green technologies and other industries, ”the memo reads. . “It has the potential to become a major economic catalyst for the City and the region, beyond current sports franchises. ”