Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Express: Oakland & Quan Call Victory Court the Top Ballpark Site

An East Bay Express story by reporter Robert Gammon announced what the the scheduled Dec. 1 Planning Commission meeting had suggested: that the Victory Court ballpark site is the front-runner among Oakland's options. Even better was the news that the city is moving forward in conducting an environmental impact report for the site, an important step in the development process. (For those who might not closely follow land-use issues.)

Our favorite part of the Express article came from Mayor-Elect Jean Quan, who said she called MLB the day after she won the election.

"I wanted to let them know that I won, and that I would be fighting to keep the A's," Quan said. "And I wanted to make sure they knew that I would be doing everything possible to keep the negotiations going."

Gammon's story also featured these factoids:

*Oakland officials plan to use Redevelopment Agency funds for both the land acquisition and the EIR.

*City Administrator Dan Lindheim is leading the negotiations with MLB, making clear that MLB and the city of Oakland are in talks.

*Lindheim also said that MLB wants to have a new stadium for the A's in place by Opening Day 2015.

*Quan believes that the new ballpark will not only spur development at Jack London Square, Oak-to-Ninth, and Lake Merritt, but also will help nearby Chinatown businesses.

*Jim Falaschi (Jack London Square Partners) and Michael Ghielmetti (President, Signature Properties) control areas around Victory Court and both are in favor of the ballpark.

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