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Housing Is Sticking Point in Oakland A’s $12B Ballpark Negotiations

  • Housing is a key point of contention in negotiations around a new Oakland A's ballpark.
  • City officials insist 15% of new units be affordable.
Oakland Athletics
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The Oakland A’s proposed $12 billion waterfront development could hinge on an issue very familiar to Bay Area residents: housing. 

Negotiations between the city and team encompass a host of issues, but affordable housing in the development area near the stadium appears to have the greatest potential to sink the project.

  • Some city council members and mayor Libby Schaaf are insisting that 15% (450) of the project’s 3,000 units be priced below market rate. 
  • The city also wants the team to pay for the construction or preservation of another 600 affordable units in surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Team president Dave Kaval has referred to the city’s affordable housing requirements, which would require 7-12% of the units to be below market-rate depending on the details of the project, per SFGate (Kaval has cited the figure as 5%).

“Many council members feel that the [draft] term sheet this council developed is a very generous deal for the Oakland A’s,” said council member Dan Kalb. 

The project faces a key commission vote on June 30 over whether the area the A’s plan to build on will be redesignated from being exclusively for port use. 

Payback Play

Housing is not the only roadblock: The two sides also need to agree on how much the team can recover in tax revenue. 

Last year, the team proposed a plan in which it would recover $855 million in infrastructure improvements and adjustments through tax revenue from the surrounding area, some of which is already developed. 

The city countered with a proposal that removed around $352 million in paybacks from the A’s proposal.

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