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Howard Terminal Ballpark Plan Takes Another Step Forward

New Oakland Athletics Ballpark Renderings May 2019

The Oakland A’s proposal for a new Howard Terminal ballpark has taken another step forward, as California lawmakers have approved a bill that streamlines the permitting process. 

The Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal is being targeted by the A’s for a proposed project that would include a new ballpark to replace RingCentral Coliseum. In addition to a new ballpark, the concept for Howard Terminal calls for new mixed-use development to be constructed at the site, including housing units, retail, office space, open space, and more.

On Thursday, state lawmakers helped advance the proposal, voting 57-0 to approve AB1191–a bill introduced by assemblyman Rob Bonta that enables the State Lands Commission to determine whether the A’s proposal is an appropriate use of the site. With the approval in place, the bill now heads to the desk of California governor Gavin Newsom for his consideration. More from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Bonta tweeted after the vote that the legislation paves the way for the A’s to achieve a privately-funded stadium at Howard Terminal, “all at high environmental standards!”

Dave Kaval, the president of the A’s, said the team is grateful that both houses of the State Legislature have voted to advance the project.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Assemblyman Rob Bonta as well as the supporters of AB 1191, and respectfully urge Governor Newsom to sign this bill, as well as Senator Nancy Skinner’s SB 293, into law,” he said. “We still have much work to do in this process, but passage of this legislation, following the passage of AB 734 in 2018, represents a big moment for Oakland.”

AB734 requires that any complaints about the project at that site be resolved within 270 days.

Approval of AB1191 comes on the heels of lawmakers advancing SB293 last week. Introduced by senator Nancy Skinner, SB293 allows for the creation of a new tax district in Oakland that would help cover the cost of infrastructure improvements.

Although the legislative approvals represent important steps for the A’s, there is still plenty of work to be done if the Howard Terminal proposal is to come to fruition. An environmental impact report still has to be completed, and the A’s have been hoping to present findings to the Port Commission and the Oakland City Council early next year. Key city council votes would also have to be taken in the future to approve the project as well as potential financing deals, and the council will have plenty of issues to sort out as it considers the proposal. The A’s are hoping to open the new ballpark in 2023. Along with a new ballpark at the Howard Terminal site, the A’s have proposed a redevelopment of the Coliseum complex that would include an amphitheater to replace the Coliseum, new construction in the existing parking lots, and the operation of Oakland Arena–the former home of the Golden State Warriors–for a variety of events.

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