OAKLAND – Officials from Oakland released the final Environmental Impact report for the proposed Oakland A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal on Friday morning.
The team has always maintained that a new Howard Terminal ballpark is vital for Oakland’s long-term survival. The team is planning to build a $12 billion ballpark and surrounding development that will include housing, shopping, and other amenities. It still needs to be approved, but the release the final EIR is one.
“It’s an enormous milestone to get a final environmental report,” said Dave Kaval (President Oakland Athletics). “It has taken three years to make, tens and millions of dollars, and thousands upon hours of work.
The final EIR lists some of the issues that need to be addressed to build the ballpark at Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal site.
The report covers 3,500 pages and details how the development should address issues such as rail safety and parking, pollution, waste disposal, and increased traffic. The EIR describes the need for pedestrian bridges to cross Jack London Square’s railroad tracks. Some of the Howard Terminal shipping cranes will be converted to “public art” and will remain unused as part of the 18-acres of public parks at the ballpark development.
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Kaval said that they would remain as a public homage to the maritime heritage at the location.
Mayor Libby Schaaf stated in a statement that a final vote could be held in the Oakland City Council’s 2022 election.
“The completion of the EIR… brings us one step closer to keeping our beloved A’s rooted in Oakland,” Schaaf said.
However, the final EIR’s release is only one part of a long and complex process. It does not mean that the A’s will stay in Oakland or that a final agreement regarding the ballpark will be reached.
“This is an important step. It allows us get that final approval but we’re still a long way off,” Kaval stated.
The City of Oakland is currently discussing how to pay for the infrastructure changes and upgrades that will be required around the ballpark, and the surrounding development.
Kaval said that there are weekly and daily conversations about these specific financial negotiations. “We believe that these issues can be resolved quickly.”
The final EIR could be voted on by the City of Oakland Planning Commission next month. If it does, the final EIR will be sent to the full Oakland City Council for a vote on February 2.