Friday, April 20, 2007

A's file something with Fremont,

On Wednesday, the A's rather quietly filed " 'an application to negotiate a development agreement,' Fremont Economic Development Director Daren Fields said." What Fremont mayor Bob Wasserman terms "a double, not a home run" is more like sacrifice bunt made to move a runner into scoring position. So far this season, the A's have had only one player who has shown the ability to lay that bunt down। But I digress।

The A's also dropped off $500K with the application. It falls short of what I've been looking for (the application, not the money), but it's a start. The abrupt nature and timing of the application makes me wonder if there is something to my thought that the San Jose and Fremont development plans are somehow tied. There are plenty of factors in the Fremont deal alone that need to be addressed. An externality like San Jose would severely complicate matters. I'd like to think that the Fremont deal is completely standalone, but maybe it isn't and Wolff is scrambling in light of the recent news in San Jose.

The filing is not the land-use development application for which city officials have been waiting to start the environmental review process। Instead, it is "an application to negotiate a development agreement,"

Wolff said he would file a land-use development application "in the next couple of months."

City officials now say they expect one to be submitted in the next month or so.

Plans for the new stadium and ballpark village, adjacent to the Pacific Commons shopping center and west of Interstate 880, call for a large mixed-use development similar to that of San Jose's Santana Row.

It would feature nearly 3,000 homes and up to 500,000 square feet of commercial space that would include restaurants, shops and a hotel adjacent to the ballpark.

The stadium would seat

32,000 people and cost as much as $500 million, according to A's officials। In addition to the Cisco parcel, companies affiliated with Wolff have purchased or plan to purchase about 70acres of nearby land.

Fremont's subsequent planning review process would take about one year to complete, starting with a draft environmental impact report, city officials said। The public will have a chance to comment on the report and give input at community outreach meetings, Mayor Bob Wasserman said.

"Maybe we'll put it in the capital of Fremont," Wasserman joked, referring to Newark Mayor Dave Smith's recent tongue-in-cheek description of Fremont's neighboring city.

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