Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Economic Impact Report now available

The big takeaway from Wolff's progress report tonight was that the Economic Impact Report for the project is now available. I've only barely scanned through it so far and here are some key points:
  • Ballpark is still 30-34,000 seats, cost = $450 million
  • The 2,900 housing units will be spread over 120 acres, for a density of 24 units per acre. There would be a mix of brownstone-type units and higher density development adjacent to the ballpark, cost = $1.1 billion
  • 550,000 square feet of "high quality mixed-use/retail," the majority of which would be in a "lifestyle center" (a.k.a. outdoor mall); the remainder would be "entertainment retail in a 'Main Street' environment activated by the residential neighborhood and the ballpark. Cost = $198 million
  • High-end boutique hotel with only 100 rooms, cost = $30 million
  • Total project cost would be $1.8 billion
  • Total economic impact (using multipliers) would be $3.2 billion
Next I'll quote verbatim from the report from its summary of economic impacts:
  • The direct economic impact on Alameda County will be approximately $109 million per year from the operations of the Athletics franchise, the operations of concessions within the ballpark, the net new retail spending captured by the Baseball Village retail, and the net new spending captured in the county from the new households in the Ballpark Village.
  • Including the indirect and induced “multiplier” effects, the Ballpark Village will generate over $191 million per year in total economic output for Alameda County, and create approximately $50 million each year in personal earnings, which in turn supports approximately 1,762 incremental jobs within Alameda County.
  • The net present value over the next 30 years of the total expansion in economic output of Alameda County will be between $700 million and $2 billion, depending upon the discount rate used, as a result of implementing the Ballpark Village proposal.
  • Construction of the Ballpark Village is estimated to cost approximately $1.8 billion in today’s dollars. Over the several years it will take to build and absorb the project, over 13,000 full-time equivalent annual jobs will be created, along with almost $600 million in earnings for those workers. Alameda County will experience a one-time economic expansion during the construction period of almost $3.2 billion.
  • For the Fremont Unified School District, over $10 million in development fees will be collected from the project.
  • For the City of Fremont, over $3.6 million per year will be generated after build out in General Fund revenues. While the costs of providing General Fund municipal services cannot be estimated until a formal development application is submitted, these General Fund revenues will be unrestricted in their use for offsetting costs. Additional revenues will be generated for the City in the form of fees and charges to offset non-general fund services provided, and by the Special Services tax levied within the Pacific Commons development area.
  • The Fremont Redevelopment Agency, upon project build out, will be collecting over $15 million per year in today’s dollars in the form of property tax increments and set-aside funds for low- and moderate-income housing.
I need to read more before I post any significant analysis. A couple of notes however:
  • Tax increment is mentioned, though not as a method to pay for the project; rather it's used as positive economic impact for the city and county (the usual skepticism applies).
  • Additional tax revenue sources are identified, though not the gross receipts tax I found earlier.
The report is 60 pages long and is chock full of tables. Enjoy.

Now for a few observations about the progress report:
  • The $500K paid last month was reimbursement for process work
  • The best method for owning the stadium has not yet been determined, whether public, private, or a mix
  • Traffic and environmental impact reports are meant to show that the project would have the same or fewer impacts than the currently planned use (office park)
  • Janet Gawthorpe (sp?) was the last of two speakers and expressed her concern about environmental impacts, urging the council to make sure the project had a full, complete, transparent, open review. To that end, Mayor Wasserman replied that the project would indeed have such a review.
  • Council were mostly positive, mostly champing at the bit - especially Anu Natarajan and Bill Harrison, who by trade is a CPA.

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