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City of Oakland releases Draft Environmental lmpact Report for A’s Howard Terminal ballpark project

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Important step in quest for new A’s stadium

Photo from A’s Twitter

The Oakland A’s quest to build a new ballpark at Howard Terminal took a step forward on Friday, as the City of Oakland released a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the privately financed project.

The report provides analysis of how the project will affect various aspects of the surrounding area, including transportation, housing, the Port industry, and the environment itself, and a possible path to successful coexistence. Click here to see the whole thing on the City’s website.

“The release of the Draft EIR is another important step forward in the process of building a new privately financed ballpark at Oakland’s Howard Terminal,” said Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval, in a team press release.

The release of this report had previously been challenged, due to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of local industry associations, but earlier this month the Alameda County Superior Court ruled in favor of letting the A’s continue through the process.

The project still isn’t a done deal, though. Per Kaval:

“While the release of the Draft EIR is a great milestone, it is imperative that the City Council take a vote on the project this year. We look to the City for their support and partnership to keep the A’s in Oakland for generations to come.”

Kaval also has the following message for how fans can help.

For more info on the ballpark project, click here to visit the team’s official site.

Details and Images

There are lots of details and new images to sort through, beginning with this video rendering of the proposed park’s external perimeter.

The City’s website about the project includes the following summary on its homepage:

Project Description

· Construct an approximately 35,000-person capacity Major League Baseball park for the Oakland Athletics.

· Up to 1.77 million square feet of commercial development,

· Up to 3,000 residential dwelling units,

· A new hotel with approximately 400 rooms, and

· A new performance venue with a capacity of approximately 3,500 individuals.

Background

The project site consists of approximately 55 acres that comprise the Charles P. Howard Terminal and adjacent parcels, located at the Port of Oakland along the Inner Harbor of the Oakland-Alameda Estuary. The site is bound generally by the Oakland Estuary Middle Harbor on the south; Jack London Square on the east; Union Pacific railroad tracks and Embarcadero West on the north; and the heavy metal recycling center, Schnitzer Steel, on the west.

The full Draft EIR itself is a series of PDF documents, and you can click here to visit the table of contents with a link to each doc.

Next is a gallery of images, including four artist renderings posted on the A’s Twitter account (1, 2, 3, 4), and two blueprints from the City’s site.

The team’s press release offers the following details (bullet points are copied directly from the release):

Opening the Waterfront to the Community

  • Creates public waterfront access and more than 18 acres of new waterfront parks and open space areas
  • Improves Oakland’s resilience against sea-level rise
  • Transforms an industrial site into a sustainable community at no expense to taxpayers

Forward-looking Transportation Plan

  • A transit-first approach, the plan reduces car trips by 20 percent, expands public transportation options, and invests in bike safety and infrastructure, pedestrian walkways and bridges
  • Separates ballpark and development transportation from Port of Oakland traffic to safeguard the Port and provide greater efficiency for trucks to access the Port

Caring for the Environment for Generations

  • Includes measures aimed at improving air quality in surrounding communities, achieves net zero greenhouse gas emissions, and provides numerous other long-term health benefits for residents
  • Invests in electric vehicle chargers, solar options and public transportation
  • Reduces truck pollution from the neighborhoods

Creating Homes for Oaklanders

  • Proposes 3,000 homes, including affordable housing, in an area that the City of Oakland designated as a “Priority Development Area” in the Plan Bay Area 2040 vision for long-term growth

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It’s been a long road and there are still many miles ahead, but this appears to be a legitimate step forward in the process for a potential new A’s ballpark.