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A’s pitch Howard Terminal designs to waterfront committee

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Amidst swirling ballpark news, A’s President Dave Kaval and the teams of designers, architects and engineers pitched the Bay Conservation and Development Commission on their grand plan for transforming Howard Terminal. Spoiler alert: It looks amazing.

The Howard Terminal ballpark vision

I feel for Dave Kaval. Squarely amidst his absolute worst week as A’s President (wild card loss and contending with a lawsuit by the city that he is “Rooted” in), he already had a pre-planned design meeting with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (i.e. the BCDC), where he had to gamely attend and put his best foot forward to pitch the A’s ballpark plan for the thousandth time to yet another group of public decision-makers.

But, in some ways, the timing was good, because after a week of horrible news for A’s fans, there was a reminder of the bright possibilities that are still very much in play for the team, the fans, and the city.

Following the various legislative victories at the state level for the ballpark, continuing the pitch to the BCDC is one of the next steps to make the Howard Terminal ballpark a reality. The BCDC has been around since 1965 and is empowered by the state to protect, regulate, maintain and improve the coastline of the San Francisco Bay.

One of the bills that passed the CA legislature and is waiting for the Governor’s signing would limit the factors that the BCDC can impose on the project. But still, the BCDC is tasked with overall making sure that developments make more of the waterfront visible, beautiful, accessible, compatible with wildlife, and to help connect more of the shoreline together. It’s clear these beautiful new renderings aim to hit all the marks.

The Howard Terminal ballpark site plan

Note: All images are from the A’s power point to the BCDC, available here. Click on the images to zoom in.

Current view of Howard Terminal

The A’s are planning to make most of the site publicly accessible, including the innovative rooftop stadium park, except on game days where the rooftop park will be open to ticket holders only. Aside from the ballpark, the signature feature tying everything together is “Athletics Way,” which directly connects Jack London Square to the Ballpark and loops the park.

Overall Howard Terminal Site Plan

Again, this is a currently unused and unaccessible (to the public) concrete slab. The buldings marked 7, 8, 18 and 19 would be public trusts, so essentially all the waterfront will be opened up to the people, 365 days/year.

The site in total is 55 acres, although 9 acres may need to be shaved off to provide an area for ships to turn around. They do have an alternative site plan, were that to become necessary.

For scale, this is what the site will provide in terms of open space, compared to Union Square in San Francisco (which is essentially large city block).

Public open space comparison

Here’s a zoom in specifically on the open space in the plan, so you can see the parkland.

A number of parks and planned open spaces will surround the ballpark

The blank squares are spaces for residential and commercial buildings that presumably the A’s would control, although some portions of those buildings would no doubt be reserved for uses negotiated with the city such as city offices, affordable housing, etc.

Artist renderings of the ballpark and surroundings

But enough of the planning stuff, the shiny pictures are why were here...

Walking down Athletics Way from Jack London Square, this is what you’d see.

Arriving at the ballpark

There’s plazas, parks and promenades galore!

Athletics Way Promenade (on the non-waterfront side of the stadium, looking West)
Athletics Way Terraces (on the non-waterfront side of the stadium, looking West)
Athletics Way Plaza (looking South towards the water, outside behind home plate)
Arrival from Water Street, looking southwest. Note the existing cranes, which will be kept as part of the design.

The next few images showcase the “Pier Park” area, which would be at the bottom right corner of the site (i.e. deeeep RF).

“Pier Park Point” - i.e., Where Water Street turns into Athletics Way, zoomed in
“Pier Park Boardwalk”
“Pier Park Green”
“Pier Park Beach”

The next few renderings showcase the Rooftop Park. The “Home Plate Terraces” are basically on the rooftop park and behind home plate.

Rooftop Park
Homeplate Terraces
Homeplate Hill
“Rickey Plaza”, out in CF. The current concept is that a batters’ eye would rise up during gameplay.

The rest of the renderings the A’s released are of the extended waterfront plaza, as you move North, away from the ballpark and along the shoreline.

Visualizations of the rest of the waterfront

Hopefully, all parties can come together and make this transformational project a reality. Until then, we’ll just have renderings to dream on...