Though the details are sketchy, a new developer is reportedly signed up to move the proposed Coliseum City project forward, which could spur construction of a new Oakland A’s ballpark.
The name of the new developer is expected to be announced after the city agrees to an exclusive negotiating period, a move that could happen as soon as Tuesday. The project, which will combine new facilities for the A’s and the Oakland Raiders (NFL) with residential, retail and office at the current O.co Coliseum site, has been stalled. A’s owner Lew Wolff has expressed interest in developing the site — albeit on a much more modest basis — but so far he’s not been involved in discussions with the city or the potential new developer, per the Oakland Tribune:
Attorney Zack Wasserman, who represents the development team, said the investor would join the team and that he has already had a lot of discussions with the Raiders about a new stadium but none so far with the Oakland A’s.
The city has struggled for more than two years to find anyone willing to put money into its vision of redeveloping of the 120-acre Coliseum site and hundreds of surrounding acres in East Oakland into a sports and entertainment hub with a hotel, homes and nearby technology campuses….
There are still many hurdles to building sports stadiums at the Coliseum site. A new Raiders stadium faces an estimated $600 million funding shortfall, public debt on the land itself exceeds $106 million from prior renovations to O.co Coliseum, and tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements would be required to transform sprawling parking lots at the site into a more densely developed entertainment hub.
Not involving Wolff is probably a short-sighted move: he has the passion and wherewithal to make a new A’s ballpark happen. It will be interesting to see whether the new developer wants to play ball with the A’s or whether their plans are geared more toward a Raiders stadium.
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