This piece originally appeared on Oakland Local.
The Oakland City Council has approved two important pieces connected to the redevelopment of a large swath of East Oakland.
Last evening, the council approved negotiated agreements for the Oakland Coliseum City Complex project, with the city set to spend $3.5 million to push forward this phase of redevelopment of the area surrounding the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex.
According to city staff reports, the first deal will allow for “determining the capacity of the development team to deliver on the project, and for studying and evaluating the feasibility of a new stadium development.”
The second agreement would develop “policy guidance on how the two project areas would develop and drive economic return for the benefit of the entire Oakland community through job generation and employment, and balance land use goals with environmental and economic interests.”
Thus far, the project has largely been known for the stadium component, but the plan also includes the Oakland Airport Business Park, which is the largest portion of the project.
“The area we’re calling the Airport Business Park, we think, has the potential of being an important job generator,” Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell said.
In addition, once up and running, the Coliseum City development also will be a part of a larger revitalization plan for the surrounding area. Development plans include the construction of the the Oakland Airport Connector; the Oakland International Airport terminal expansion projects; and the Coliseum Transit Village housing development.
“There are two reasons to be excited about this project,” Blackwell said. “It shows that the city is serous about keeping our sports franchises in town. We’re also excited about the the commercial retail aspects of the plan. We see this as a potential destination complex for sports and entertainment.”
At 750 acres, the Coliseum City project is a vast undertaking for Oakland.
“This project is important for the entire city, if not the region,” Blackwell said.
Council tonight will consider the two Coliseum City proposals together. One would authorize the city to enter into an exclusive negotiating deal with JRDV Urban International, HKS Sports And Entertainment, HKS Inc. and Forest City Real Estate Services LLC for the development of the project. The second vote would be on approve an agreement with consultants Lamphier-Gregory for up to $1.9 million.
Area around the Oakland Coliseum. Credit: Oakland Local
Blackwell said plans for the stadium portion will allow the city to have better discussions around keeping the Athletics and the Warriors in Oakland.
“What this allows us to do is to engage in a much deeper dialogue with the teams,” he said. “It also allows us to do the important economic feasibility work to see how we can maximize the use of the facilities on non-game days.”
Blackwell said a final price tag has not been computed for the project once completed.
“At this point we’re not looking at infrastructure costs,” he said. “We’re just not there yet. We don’t have to do a lot of land assembly so that will save some costs. Also, we’re going to explore revenue options around suites, tickets, parking … things of that nature.”
Blackwell said the city will work closely with partner Alameda County in developing the plan for the East Oakland area. Community engagement, Blackwell said, is a high priority.
“We’re going to engage all of our stakeholders and invite everyone to the table to analyze and help the city come up with the best possible scenario,” he said.
Blackwell said he expects this portion of the plan to be completed in 12 to 15 months.
Mayor Jean Quan will hold a press conference this morning to discuss the Coliseum City Complex redevelopment.