A week ago, the much-anticipated vote was cast 6-1 with Oakland City Council moving the Oakland A’s stadium forward, approving the nonbinding term sheet. The details of the proposed $12-billion Howard Terminal waterfront development plan remain under negotiation, yet we are cautiously optimistic that the A’s and the city of Oakland can bring this very important project home.
This project is no small feat, promising to feature a 35,000-seat ballpark, 3,000 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of commercial and office space, up to 400 hotel rooms, a 3,500-seat performing arts center, and 18.3 acres of new public parks, all near downtown Oakland. You certainly don’t have to be an economist to understand what this could mean for Oakland’s trajectory and growth.
MLB estimates this decision to include $7.3 billion in economic benefits – citing that the stadium alone could bring in $3 billion in the form of new jobs and increased spending. This is an exciting prospect for those still aching from the sting of the government shut down. Additionally, a proposed gondola system that would carry passengers from Old Oakland to Jack London Square boasts upwards of $650 million and more (thereby hoping to solve the increased traffic concern many have rightly raised). In short, a boom is coming – are we ready? Don’t worry…this will take a while.
The services and value that beget this undertaking cannot be overstated. Abounding job opportunities, energetic tourism, and endless retail and commercial growth are sure to entice. Additional commercial space will certainly attract San Francisco companies who are looking to make the more affordable, yet similarly effervescent, urban swap to this side of the Bay. All of this serves to make Oakland even more appealing – and our housing market will continue to soar right alongside.
We are cognoscente of the concerns about increased traffic, business disruption, loss of jobs from the current port business, additional crime, and additional government spending. That being said, we believe the benefits will be far greater for positive growth and elevated exposure that this agenda will bring for our city. What makes us authentically Oakland is our spirit, our adaptability, and our warm welcoming culture. All of this gives us the opportunity and embrace variety, vision, and celebration to this amazing Town. We need to stay authentic and energized about the possibilities ahead.
At Kim Cole Real Estate, we are mindful of the opportunities and excited by what this decision says about the future of Oakland: Oakland is committed. This is our city, The Town, and we are doing right by our team of Oakland supporters that bring so much in the way of patriotism, loyalty, infrastructure, and, most importantly, sincere, steadfast Oakland Pride. And so, with cautious optimism, we will put our boots to the ground and continue to serve the Alameda area as it prepares to brace itself for this new surge.