Oakland’s Design Review Committee is scheduled to review plans for Howard Terminal tomorrow, the proposed $12 billion waterfront ballpark district for the Oakland A’s. The meeting will be held in the shadow of great uncertainty as the baseball team remains silent on if it is still committed to the project. Delays and the risk that the baseball stadium would not be ready in time have led the team to tease a move to Las Vegas.
If built, Howard Terminal aims to be a natural extension of the city’s urban fabric by establishing a new mixed-use neighborhood. As written in the design review packet published ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, the A’s wrote, “the master plan prioritizes mixed-use development to accommodate a variety of lifestyles, income groups, and business opportunities within a highly walkable, environmentally-friendly waterfront district. More importantly, the mixed-use character fosters the continuous activation of the streetscape throughout the day.”
Surrounded by 18.3 acres of privately owned public open space, i.e., POPOS, the district will center around the 35,000-person open-air multi-purpose stadium for the Major League Baseball team. Other towers will construct up to 3,000 apartments, 1.5 million square feet of office space, 270,000 square feet of retail. A 50,000 square foot indoor performance center will be able to host 3,500 guests, while the 280,000 square foot hotel will contain 400 guest rooms.
Bjarke Ingels Group, i.e., BIG, is the leading architecture firm for the design concepts and construction for the new development plan. Gensler is the executive architect of the ballpark, and James Corner Field Operations is the landscape architect and shares responsibility for the master planning with BIG.
The DRC meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, September 8th, at 3 PM. One major consideration is the Maritime Reservation Scenario, where the development will not include a significant portion of reclaimed land for the Port of Oakland, removing three lots and reducing the size of a fourth.
For more information about how to attend or participate in the meeting, see the meeting agenda here. The Committee is expected to receive the plans and hold off from any decisive vote for a later meeting.
Responding to the vote held in Late July, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred publicly shared the following, “we are disappointed the City Council chose to vote on a proposal to which the A’s had not agreed. We will immediately begin conversations with the A’s to chart a path forward for the Club.”
The project has more recently hit a delay when the Alameda County Board of Supervisors pushed off a key vote on the project in response to the uncertainty about the specifics of project funding. According to reports by the Bay Area News Group reporters Shayna Rubin and Annie Sciacca, “without the county’s share of tax revenue, Oakland officials have said, not enough money would be generated from the city’s share alone to cover the infrastructure costs.”
If the Oakland A’s were to leave the city, it would be the last remaining major league sports team to leave the city. The Raiders, the football team, moved to Las Vegas in 2020, and the Warriors, the basketball team, moved to San Francisco in 2019.
As projected during the July vote, estimates suggest the team would move into Howard Terminal by 2027, raising further uncertainty about the development. The recently approved term sheet includes requirements for affordable housing, protections for tenants, and a 25-year non-relocation agreement.
Oakland Athletics Investment Group, LLC is responsible for the application.